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Fairtrade: New frontier for shrimp

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Fairtrade certification for shrimp farmer cooperatives brings high standards and new high-end markets in Europe. 

shrimp farmer

Photo above of the shrimper Mr Decha using gutweed. Gutweed absorbs waste and helps improve water quality to prevent disease and promote shrimp growth.

Click button to listen to Bio Shrimp Farming to download

Fair deal for shrimpers, Prachuap Khiri Khan cooperative that pioneered bio-shrimp farming hopes for global recognition from Fairtrade certification by Walailak Keeratipipatpong

Shrimp farmers in Prachuap Khiri Khan province hope that their hard work over the past four years will help them win credentials from the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International some time next year.

The Fairtrade label, issued by a global organisation that campaigns for a better deal for farmers and workers in developing countries, would raise the profile of the group, formed to raise shrimp in an environmentally responsible way.

"Bio-shrimp farming applies an environmentally friendly raising model in which natural substances are used to prevent diseases and promote growth," said Decha Banluedet, chairman of the Samroi Yod-Pran Buri Shrimp Raisers Cooperative.

The process is not only a way to make clean produce but effective social responsibility since no polluted water is drained out

The raising system as well as fair practices among members are crucial conditions for FLO certification.

The cooperative, formed in 2008 to pioneer bio-shrimp farming, has received technical assistance from various agencies including the Fisheries Department. It operates by four main principles: sustainable growth, harmony with nature, environmental friendliness and community responsibility.

Beneficial bacteria - bacillus and rhodopseudomonas - are used when preparing ponds and water. Bio-fertilisers are later added to promote natural food sources such as plankton

To reduce shrimp stress, farmers are advised to harvest fewer fry in a pond - a maximum of 30 black tiger prawn fry per square metre and between 30-75 for vannamei.

Shrimp cultivation has long been criticised for causing water pollution. Therefore, the use of gutweed (enteromorpha intestinalis) to absorb waste and help improve water quality is advised.

"However, farmers have to check water quality regularly and draining dirty water is prohibited," he said

Pre-and pro-biotic beneficial bacteria are also added in feedmeal for disease prevention and growth promotion.

Using these methods, farmers need to be more attentive. But Mr Decha said they would get handsome returns high survival rates of up to 80% and larger shrimp of around 50 head a kilogramme - for a shorter raising period.

It takes only 90 to 100 days to get shrimp of that size, compared with 110 days for conventional farms. Bio-shrimp also sell for 10-15 baht a kilogramme higher than other shrimp.

A member generally produces three tonnes of shrimp worth 465,000 baht, based on a price of 155 baht/kg. After expenses including 120,000 to 130,000 baht for feed and 50,000 baht for oil and utilities, farmers still earn a high income, he said. 

The success of the operation has helped the cooperative expand to 200 farmers from 52 when it started. It now produces about 100 tonnes of bio-shrimp a year, sold to local coldstorage companies for distribution to the Marks & Spencer in the UK. 

The volume is minuscule compared to the 400,000 tonnes of shrimp the country exports each year but Mr Decha expects the Fairtrade label will encourage more farmers to turn to bio-farming

The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) is in the process of setting criteria for certifying bio-shrimp farms. The draft, which covers farm management, water, and farming methods, will become a national standard soon.

The rules have been tested at farms in Trang, Songkhla, and by the Samroi Yod-Pran Buri Cooperatives. ACFS certification will help these producers tap into the high-end retail segment as well as health-conscious consumers.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Fair deal for shrimpers, Prachuap Khiri Khan cooperative that pioneered bio-shrimp farming hopes for global recognition from Fairtrade certification, 15/08/2011, Walailak Keeratipipatpong , link)

Shrimp Industry Vocabulary

shrimp cultivation -
raising shrimp for sale as food (See Wikipedia)

bio-shrimp farming -
shrimp farming that meets high environmental and social standards (See seatglobal.eu (Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade))

shrimper - a person who raises shrimps as a business

- 1. an organization owned and operated by a group of farmers ("cooperating" together to market and sell the agricultural goods they produce) 2. working together to achieve a goal ให้ความร่วมมือ
Shrimp Raisers Cooperative - a group of shrimp farmers who join together to better market and sell their shrimp

pioneer -
the first to do something
new frontier - a new place where no one has gone to before (pioneers are the first to go to visit new frontiers)

certification - an official process that provides proof that certain standards have been met after tests and inspection, an official document (certificate) to prove that these standards have been met การรับรองคุณภาพ

Fairtrade certification - "a product certification system designed to allow people to identify products that meet agreed environmental, labour and developmental standards. Overseen by a standard-setting body, FLO International, and a certification body, FLO-CERT, the system involves independent auditing of producers to ensure the agreed standards are met. Companies offering products that meet the Fairtrade standards may apply for licences to use the Fairtrade Certification Mark (or, in North America, the applicable Fair Trade Certified Mark) for those products. The FLO International Fairtrade certification system covers a growing range of products, including bananas, honey, oranges, cocoa, coffee, shortbread, cotton, dried and fresh fruits and vegetables, juices, nuts and oil seeds, quinoa, rice, spices, sugar, tea and wine. In 2008, Fairtrade certified sales amounted to approximately €2.9 billion (US $4.08 billion) worldwide, a 22% year-to-year increase." (See Wikipedia)

Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International -
one of the organizations involved in "Fairtrade certification" (See Wikipedia)
FLO certification - the process of certification before a producer can use the Fairtrade label (See Wikipedia)
the Fairtrade label - the label used on "Fairtrade certification" products 

tiger prawn - a  type of shrimp widely raised for food (See Wikipedia)

fry -
newborn baby fish
tiger prawn fry - newborn baby tiger prawns

gutweed (enteromorpha intestinalis) - a green plant (algae) rowing in water, similar to seaweed that absorbs waste and helps improve water quality (See Wikipedia)

- to take in a liquid, gas or other substance form the surface or space around ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
absorb waste - take in waste material from the water (thus reducing water pollution)

stress - have a difficult life
fish stress - "a state produced by an environmental or other factor which extends the adaptive responses of an animal beyond the normal range or which disturbs the normal functioning to such an extent that in either case, the chances of survival are significantly reduced." (Source: academic article and also see here)
shrimp stress - same as for fish

plankton -
a mass of tiny animals and plants that live in the surface layer of the sea (See Wikipedia)

- throughout the world ทั่วโลก, ทั้งโลก
recognition - be known for something
global recognition - to be known and recognized around the world for something
credentials - previous achievements and background, qualifications, and proof such as diplomas, certificates, letters of reference

improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น

issued - made available ออกใหม่
campaigns - a long series of events staged to achieve a goal or to promote something (for example, an "anti-smoking campaign")
high profile - very visible and easy for the public (the public watches and follows) 
raise the profile
of the group - make the group more well-known by the public

natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
natural substances - substances found naturally in nature (not man-made substances)

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
produce - the crops (or here: shrimp) that a farmer produces
effective - producing the result that was intended, works well, gets the job done ได้ผลดี

- having to take care of some task as part of your job
social responsibility - acting in a way that benefits society (as well as yourself)
drained - if you drain something, you remove the liquid from it, usually by pouring it away or allowing it to flow away รีดน้ำออก

- ways of doing commonly repeated tasks
fair practices - fair ways of doing repeated tasks (without negative impacts on other people)

crucial - extremely important because it effects the result of something สำคัญยิ่ง
crucial conditions - very important conditions (can make the difference between success or failure)

pioneer - be the first one to do something
technical - involving special materials, processes, and machines to do specialised work เฉพาะทาง
assistance - help (given to someone)

principles - the basic rules (of some activity or event) กฎระเบียบเบื้องต้น
sustainable - able to be successfully continued for a long time ยั่งยืน, ถาวร  แบบยั่งยืน ที่ดำเนินต่อไป
sustainable growth - growth that does not destroy the environment (if it destroys the environment, growth will eventually be impossible)

harmony - when people are peaceful and agree with each other, or when things seem right or suitable together ความสามัคคี
nature - the basic quality of feature of something ธรรมชาติ
harmony with nature - living with nature peacefully and not destroying it

environmental friendliness
- not hurting the environment (nature outside of human-made things)

- local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
community responsibility - what all the people who live together in a "community" must do to help the "community" (to help each other)

(noun) - something that can be gained from an activity, the good things that can happen 
beneficial (adjective) - creating good things

bacteria -
very small living things, some of them causing diseases in humans and animals (See Wikipedia)
beneficial bacteria - bacteria that create good things, good bacteria (not the ones that make people sick)

- chcmicals or natural substances that help plants grow, food for plants (See Wikipedia)
bio-fertilisers -

harvest - collect; the activity of collecting fully grown crops from a farmer's fields or an animal such as fish that a farmer has been raising การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต, เก็บ
maximum - the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด

shrimp cultivation - raising shrimp (for future sale) (See Wikipedia)
raising system -
a system for raising shrimp, a shrimp farming system 

prohibited - people are not allowed to do it
beneficial - helpful or good มีประโยชน์
Pre-and pro-biotic beneficial bacteria
feedmeal -
food for animals and fish

prevention - the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something
disease prevention  

promotion - giving an employee a higher position or job than they already have
growth promotion - helping things grow
attentive - paying attention to, and being concerned about some issue or problem, working to solve it
returns - the results of an election ผลการเลือกตั้ง
handsome returns - make a lot of money (from their investment)
high survival rates - many shrimp live and do not die early

conventional - usual or normal; ordinary and normal ธรรมดา, ตามแบบแผน
utilities - services like electricity and water

- money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
earn a high income - make more money
expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป

expand to 200 farmers -
increase the number of farmers to 200

- in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local coldstorage companies - nearby companies that provide the service of storing things in a cold place (refrigeration)
distribution - giving or delivering things to many people การจำหน่ายออกไป

volume - the quantity or amount of something
minuscule volume - very small volume, very small amount of something
encourage - cause someone to gain enthusiasm, motivation, and energy to do something ปลุกใจ

criteria - a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something  บรรทัดฐาน
setting criteria for certifying bio-shrimp farms - making the rules that will be used to decide whether a shrimp farm gets certification or not
draft - not in a final form and likely to be changed ร่าง
national standard - a standard that is used everywhere in the country

tested - put in a difficult situation ถูกทดสอบ

tap into -
use something and get some benefit from it
retail - to sell directly to the public for their own use ขายปลีก
segment - a part of something ตอน a separate part ส่วนต่างๆของสังคม
tap into the high-end retail segment - gain rich customers who spend a lot of money on high quality products

- aware; noticing that something exists or is happening and realising that it is important ความสำนึก ความตระหนักถึง
consumers - people who buy things or services (individuals and families)
health-conscious consumers - consumers who think about their health in the things that they buy

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