Next month is National Seafood Month. In celebration we are highlighting America's third most popular seafood, salmon. In 2010, we partnered with Irish Organic* aquaculture farms certified by the Organic Food Federation of the EU.

Irish Organic* Salmon has a reputation of having firmer flesh and being of premium quality, which reflects the unique environment and hydrography of the organic farms. The salmon farms we are partnered with raise their fish in sites exposed to the strong currents and natural elements brought by the rugged coast of the Island of Ireland. The exposed farming sites simulate the natural habitat of wild salmon, which contributes to the ideal "condition factor" of these farms. The "condition factor", as outlined in the Irish Government's salmon specification, explains how the unique environment in which the fish is raised affects the vibrant flesh color, body shape and the relationship between length and weight, resulting in a fish with consistent characteristics.

Organic regulations deal with production aspects such as animal welfare conditions, including maximum stocking densities (10 Kg/ m3) in saltwater net pens and specifies that biodiversity should be respected. The EU Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine states that organic aquaculture prohibits the use of "induced spawning by artificial hormones" and that organic feed should derive from "sustainably managed fisheries or composed of agricultural ingredients from organic farming and of natural-non-agricultural substances".

Upon reaching maturity, Irish Organic* Salmon are harvested using humane methods, causing minimal stress, physical damage and maintaining the quality of the fish. Once harvested, every salmon is immediately chilled in iced water to reduce the core temperature of the fish and maintain the premium characteristics and taste that you look for.

So, this seafood month, bring a taste of Ireland to your customers and show them why Irish Organic* Salmon deservedly continues to hold its reputation as a high quality unique product!

*Certified Organic by the Organic Food Federation of the EU.

We'd like to congratulate our partner farm Piscícola El Rosario for attaining Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification on August 19th and reaching a milestone in their journey to sustainability.

Piscícola El Rosario is located in the Central Northwest region of Colombia in a region known as Antioquia, a mountainous territory with ideal valleys for tilapia production. They began their production operation in 2009 as part of a project initiated by a group of Colombian businessmen with interest in investing in vulnerable regions of the country.

Piscícola El Rosario's mission is the well-being of their workers, the betterment of their quality of life and to treat them well to make them better Colombian citizens.

Historically, armed conflict int he region forced Colombian citizens to take on jobs connected to illicit activities. El Rosario's farming project has created a very positive impact and has contributed to the strengthening of the local economy by creating jobs, development of supplies, products and services. Overall, El Rosario has helped in the reestablishment of human rights, such as the right to safe and dignified work, health and education.

El Rosario farm utilizes raceways and all stages in the production process are monitored and compliant under the stringent BAP standards. They verify that their formulated feed exclusively contains ingredients from sustainable sources and complies with nutrient requirements for farmed tilapia while minimizing their impact on the environment. El Rosario's FIFO ratio is zero.

Camilo Arteaga, General Manager at Piscícola El Rosario said that it is very gratifying to be part of a select group of producers certified under the BAP standard, as it "represents a guarantee for our customers, nearby communities, workers, local authorities and shareholders that our production is conducted in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner and meets all standard requirements that overall benefit the final consumer".

Piscícola El Rosario was incorporated into Tropical's tilapia cooperative in 2012 as part of the company's strategy to continuously grow. By including El Rosario to our cooperative of farmers and processors, we are able to be geographically diverse and maintain continuity of supply, despite unexpected obstacles or delays, such as weather or transportation issues.

El Rosario's next endeavor toward sustainability is to attain BAP certification at the plant by 2014. Their modern processing plant is strategically located in conjunction with the farming facilities, which makes it possible to harvest the fish, process it and pack it, all within 30 minutes.