The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) announced that the latest issue of the Seafood Processing Standard (SPS), which adopted a new format from the previous issue 5.1, has been approved by its board of directors and is ready for pilots.

GSA seeks processing plants to pilot SPS Issue 6.0, which has been restructured to include a set of requirements for all plants, with separate modules to accommodate production processes that may not occur at every processing facility. With this new format, processors are assessed to all clauses within the core of SPS, as well as any relevant modules that fall within the scope of the facility's seafood processing production.

This new format was developed to improve the audit process while providing the same assurances for farm-raised and wild-capture seafood processors. Specifically, the new structure is expected to enhance overall audit efficiency, improve applicability for wild-capture seafood processors and create a more customized, comprehensive certification option for seafood processors globally.

"SPS is truly distinctive in that it is the only seafood-specific processing plant standard in the world," says Wally Stevens, CEO of GSA. "Issue 6.0 offers a new customized approach for farm-raised and wild-caught processors that increases audit efficiency and relevancy while maintaining the robust assurances SPS is known for including unique environmental and social coverage."

SPS covers pillars of responsible seafood—social accountability, food safety, environmental responsibility and animal welfare as well as traceability. SPS can also provide assurances and traceability to Fishery Improvement Projects reporting on SPS is already a common element within a majority of seafood supply chains—currently more than 500 processing plants are certified SPS-certified and the standard is endorsed by marketplace leaders across the globe.