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Sustainability Standard for Farmed Shellfish Operations


Food Alliance provides a sustainability standard which shellfish producers may use to evaluate management practices, measure social and environmental performance and seek voluntary third-party certification.


What does the Standard Cover?

FA Sustainability Standard for Farmed Shellfish Operations addresses the following areas of concern:
  • soil and water conservation,
  • fish and wildlife conservation,
  • integrated pest and weed management,
  • healthy, humane care for shellstock,
  • safe and fair working conditions, and
  • shared resource management.

To Whom Does the Standard Apply? 

The standard applies to all North American production systems that produce shellfish from seed to harvest within a defined area and with clear ownership of the shellfish being cultured. It applies to shellfish farms that produce the following:

  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Geoducks

The standard does not cover wild harvest. 

Where can I read the Standard?

    1. Growers may use the Evaluation Tool to assess current management practices and sustainability performance.
    2. Third-party inspectors will use the Evaluation Tool to determine if an operation meets the requirements of the FA Sustainability Certification program.

Sustainability Certification for Farmed Shellfish Operations

shellfish seal greenFood Alliance certification for farmed shellfish provides a trusted and independent third-party audit process for certifying socially and environmentally responsible management practices in shellfish farming operations and handling facilities. 

With certification, operations that grow and process shellfish products are licensed to use the Food Alliance Certified ecolabel on qualified products. 

This comprehensive, supply chain-based approach to certification means Food Alliance Certified shellfish products meet high standards for social and environmental responsibility — from the tidelands to the seafood market. 
Learn more about FA Sustainability Certification for Farmed Shellfish Operations and download the application form.

Additional Questions?

Endorsements & Testimonials

Shellfish help maintain the health of local estuaries – through filtration, nitrogen removal and habitat diversity – and provide an ongoing incentive for clean water.
We applaud Food Alliance for establishing sustainability standards for shellfish aquaculture. The new standards build on the industry’s environmental code of practices and complement the global standards for aquaculture that the World Wildlife Fund has developed.
These new sustainability standards will raise the bar for social and environmental performance This is good news for Puget Sound.

- Betsy Peabody, Executive Director
Puget Sound Restoration Fund

The shellfish industry represents family businesses where current shellfish growers have followed the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. Food Alliance Certification captures the essence of this multi-generational industry. The criteria and standards for shellfish certification honors previous generations of growers and sets forward-thinking expectations for future generations.
- Margaret Pilaro Barrette, Executive Director
Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association

We are so proud, and so lucky to be a part of this amazing community of oyster farmers in this beautiful bay. To protect this incredible resource we all have in Marin County, we must have minimal impact, both on the land and in the water. I think this should be the goal of every single grower and rancher in West Marin. Food Alliance certification helps us tell that story to our customers.
- Terry Sawyer, Co-Founder
Hog Island Oyster Co.