Marine ingredients responsibly supplied

Explore the evolution of the MarinTrust Standard, from the first version of the IFFO RS Standard to the leading business to business third-party audited standard of today.


In 2005, IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation, first expresses the need to reassure the value chain about the origin and purity of raw materials that go into the production of fishmeal and fish oil.

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Andrew Jackon is brought in as Technical Director to oversee the process in 2006.

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Creating a standard

In 2007, the IFFO Board of Directors decides to create an independent standard in order to provide assurances regarding responsible sourcing of marine ingredients.

The following year, it appoints a Technical Advisory Committee, consisting of independent stakeholders representative of the aquaculture value chain.

The Technical Advisory Committee develops the global standard for Responsible Sourcing (RS) of Fishmeal and Fish Oil, as an independent third-party certification.

It assures the animal feed, food and nutraceutical value chains that these key marine ingredients are both responsibly sourced and responsibly produced enabling a compliant factory to demonstrate this.

Birdseye Igloo and Sainsbury’s are among its first supporters.

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Open for applications

The initial standard is finalized in September 2009 and opens to applications in October of the same year.

Image: TASA

TASA Callao in Peru come onboard as the first fishmeal plant to achieve certification in February 2010.

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Applications continue

Within a year, 30 companies have applied for audit, undertaken improvement works, and become certified. Interest starts to ramp up, both within the industry and from the seafood buyers keen to simplify their responsible sourcing decisions.

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Chain of Custody

Alongside the IFFO Responsible Sourcing Standard, 2010 sees the launch of the IFFO RS Chain of Custody standard.

Assessment against the Standard enables certified producers of marine ingredients to demonstrate that the chain remains unbroken throughout the different stages: fishery > transport > plant > trading > further processing.

Full traceability of compliant products can be demonstrated, from approved raw material sourced from responsibly managed fisheries, to the manufacture and delivery of safe and pure products.

The standard evolves

From 2010 to 2014 the standard develops from the very first version, covering only whole fish used in fishmeal and fish oil factories, to version 1.5 and 1.6 which include growing environmental and social clauses.

Version 1.0

Fishmeal and fish oil factories

Version 1.1

By-products such as heads, guts and frames included as an acceptable source of marine raw material.

Version 1.2

Development of environmental clauses

Assurance that the plant manages its environmental impacts in the community where it operates (gas emissions, effluents, etc), in compliance with local regulations and international guidelines.

Version 1.3

Development of social clauses

The standard provides assurance that the plant complies with local regulations and international guidelines, with a focus on child labour.

Version 1.4

Consolidates the environmental and social clauses

One clause in each section asking the company to have a social and environmental policy in place on social and environmental compliance.

Version 1.5

Further enhances the environmental and social clauses

Another clause was added that prompted new verification steps if they don’t demonstrate compliance with some of the national legislations in the first place.

Version 1.6

A new logo is created

Launch of the IFFO RS Improver Programme

The Improver Programme encourages factories to gain certification to the Standard by mapping out a structured improvement journey with agreed milestones and a timeframe taking them towards becoming IFFO RS certified.

In 2015, a Panamanian site, together with its respective pelagic fishery, is the first to gain acceptance onto the Improver Programme.

In 2015, IFFO RS also becomes a financially independent legal entity.


At the end of the first year of financial independence from IFFO, RS Technical Director Andrew Jackson steps down from his role at IFFO to become full-time executive chair of the RS Standard.

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In 2016, a memorandum of understanding is signed with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Both standards agree to provide clarity on their respective scheme and highlight the fields where they complement each other.

MSC Logo

Social and Environmental Accountability

As the standard evolves, the focus on social and environmental accountability grows. In 2017, Version 2 of the IFFO RS Standard is launched, highlighting three key areas.

  • Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Strengthening of Social Accountability clauses
  • Strengthening Environmental Accountability clauses

What does this mean?

Plants are asked to provide evidence that they comply with all the environmental regulations of the land where they operate in relation to:

  • emissions to air
  • discharge to water
  • release of toxic or hazardous substances
  • noise, smell and dust pollution
  • ground pollution

Evidence is required regarding protection of social and welfare rights of employees in marine ingredient producing factories:

  • Certified plants must demonstrate that they comply with the country’s fundamental social regulations and with legislations set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • Impacts of the plants on local communities are assessed
  • Certified plants must have a system in place to record complaints and discussions with management

The fisheries assessment evaluation changes to include categorisation of species so that fisheries with some by-catch can be taken into consideration.

Version 2 of the IFFO RS also introduces its own Good Manufacturing Practice Clauses equivalent to internationally recognised standards such as GMP+ and FEMAS.

These clauses are tailored to marine ingredient production, including production for Direct Human Consumption.

Expanding the network

Alongside internal developments over the coming years the Standard increases its links within the industry.

    Development of a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning System

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    ISEAL Associate Membership gained

    ISEAL is a Global membership organisation for credible sustainability standards.

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    ISEAL code

    Full review of the Improver Programme

    The new version follows the requirements of the Conservation Alliance for seafood solutions towards the implementation of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs).

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    Libby Woodhatch becomes Executive Chair of IFFO RS

    Taking over from Andrew Jackson in 2018, Libby Woodhatch continues working with the Governing Body and team at IFFO RS to establish the standard further.

    Libby Woodhatch

    The IFFO RS Governing Body Committee is created

    The multi-stakeholder committee is made up of:

    • marine ingredients producers
    • traders
    • fish feed producers
    • fish farmers
    • fish processors
    • retailers
    • marine conservation NGOs
    • related standards representatives
    • the IFFO Technical Director

    The IFFO RS Governing Body Committee decides to create a multispecies pilot

    The objective is to enable the assessment of highly complex fisheries in which sometimes hundreds of species are regularly caught. Multispecies fisheries that are a part of this pilot approach must comply with the Improver Programme Application Mechanism.

    MOU signed with Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería (Peru)

    • The activities of IFFO RS and SNP are complementary and each organisation can help the other achieve their objectives.
    • IFFO RS benefits from local knowledge and expertise to show social responsibility in marine ingredients at a vessel level.
    • SNP supports IFFO RS with trial audits against relevant standards that will be updated or developed.


    Francisco Aldon

    Francisco Aldon becomes CEO of IFFO RS in 2020 and oversees the completion of a comprehensive rebranding process of IFFO RS to MarinTrust.

    The process started in 2019 and includes the creation of a new visual identity.

    The new name conveys the value that MarinTrust brings to its stakeholders:

    “Trust in marine ingredients from a production facility.”

    ISEAL Full Membership gained

    ISEAL code

    ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. Its members share knowledge and innovate on key sustainability challenges.

    As a Code Compliant member, MarinTrust adheres to ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice – a globally recognised framework for best practice.

    Find out more about ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice

    Remote audit procedures

    Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, MarinTrust invokes its process on handling remote MarinTrust Factory and MarinTrust Chain of Custody audits.

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    What’s next for the Standard?

    From 2020 onwards, the work of MarinTrust continues in a succession of key events leading up to the 2022 launch of the MarinTrust Standard Version 3.0.

      Lloyds Register

      Lloyds Register is accepted as a new registered Certification Body to certify against the MarinTrust Standards.

      Launch of a feasibility study

      The UK Seafood Innovation Fund’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) funds a study to define a traceability system for the UK’s marine by-product supply chain.

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      Development of MarinTrust V3.0 standard

      Set to launch in 2022, the next version of the standard includes

      • Chain of Custody V2.0 clauses
      • Metric based social and environmental measurements

      In 2021, around half of all fishmeal and fish oil ingredients are certified against the MarinTrust Standards.

      In 2021, around half of all fishmeal and fish oil ingredients are MarinTrust certified.

      With MarinTrust effectively representing the marine ingredients industry, other standards have more confidence in allowing their own certified feed mills to use marine ingredients.

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      The 2025 objective is to have 75% of global combined marine ingredient production certified, in application, assessment or in an Improver Programme.

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