The Better Fish® Becomes Fair Trade Certified
We are proud to announce that Australis Aquaculture is the world’s first Barramundi farmer and Asia’s first aquaculture fin fish producer to be Fair Trade certified.
Since being founded in 2004, our company has been dedicated to the pursuit of producing the most delicious fish imaginable in the most responsible way possible. We see Fair Trade as a natural component of our mission. The Better Fish® will be one of the first national seafood brands to be Fair Trade certified, and the only one that commits 100% of its Barramundi sales to the program. This initiative will help support the expansion of our community-focused programs in Vietnam.
How the Fair Trade Program Works
A portion of revenue from each pound of Fair Trade Certified Barramundi sold will be contributed to a fund that will be distributed to over 300 workers and their communities in Central Vietnam. Disbursement of the funds will be used will be determined by a democratically elected committee consisting only of Australis workers (not managers).
As a consumer, you will begin to see the new Fair Trade Certified seal on all The Better Fish® Barramundi products sold in the US later this summer. (Find a store near you!) Later on, we hope to share updates about how the funds are positively impacting our people’s lives.
The Importance of Becoming Fair Trade Certified
The concept of Fair Trade has existed since 1988 to help create more equitable societies worldwide, and you’ve most likely seen the label on coffee, chocolate, teas, and other goods. But what about seafood?
Today, over three billion people depend on seafood as their primary protein source. The shift to aquaculture has become increasingly important to meet the growing demand—and over half of the world’s seafood now comes from aquaculture. While the Fair Trade USA seafood standard has been active since 2014, Australis is one of the first aquaculture fish farms to achieve certification. Building on our commitment to competitive wages, gender equity, and safe working conditions, we are excited to pursue a new way for our most valuable asset – our people – to realize their aspirations for improving their communities.
“We’re thrilled to see Australis going all the way with its commitment to fair trade and the livelihoods of its employees in Vietnam,” said Blake Stok, Senior Program and Partnership Manager, Seafood at Fair Trade USA. “Our new aquaculture program brings protections and benefits to producers of cultured seafood and promotes socially responsible growth in the industry through partnerships with intentional producers like Australis.”
Learn About Our Other Community-Focused Programs
Australis employees organize regular (usually monthly) coastal clean-ups in Vietnam known as “Green Day” to improve public beachfront and raise awareness for environmental stewardship. Since its inception in 2017, over 80,000 pounds of trash has been collected, with over 2000 volunteers—from school kids to military personnel —helping to pitch in.
At our 21st Green Day, Australis also awarded several academic scholarships to outstanding students and school fees for needy families in our local community.
Mid-April, the Vietnamese government made a call to action to support a no-cost COVID vaccination program for the residents of Khanh Hoa Province. Although Vietnam has reported extremely low COVID cases (under 3,000 total to date), the region’s economy heavily relies on tourism which has been devastated by the pandemic. With great honor, Australis was able to respond and make a major donation that will cover vaccinations for about 10,000 people and be a start to getting the tourism industry back on their feet.
We look forward to keeping you updated on what our team in Vietnam has in store for the Fair Trade Community Development Fund through the Better Fish Newsletter! (You can subscribe in the footer.)