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Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Programme
Our Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Programme supports the production of high-class farmed Irish seafood and provides a means of differentiating aquaculture products in the marketplace through eco, organic and quality labelling.
The Public Consultation Period is now closed
About the CQA Programme
Our CQA Programme was developed by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with representatives from all parts of the supply chain, from feed to fork. It is a business-to-customer assurance, which is managed according to ISO 17065, and uses aquaculture facilities as its unit of certification.
The CQA Standards are a product certification for finfish and mussels. It comprises two integral elements:
How it works
The CQA Standards are separated into modules that cover different areas of activity on a farmed fish production site or processing plant.
|CQA Farming Standard||CQA Processing Standard|
|General requirements||General requirements|
This section deals with these general management practices that you must have in place to achieve certification:
- The production process from inputs through to outputs
- Assessment of the applicant, premises, operational systems and procedures.
It covers the specific product criteria in place for fishfish and mussels. This scope is available for salmon, freshwater fish and mussels.
Organic production requirements
This section deals with these additional organic production requirements that you must have in place (together with the general requirements) to achieve organic certification:
- The production process from inputs through to outputs
- Assessment of your additional organic procedures and systems.
This scope is available for salmon and mussels.
Eco production requirements
This section aims to help you show your commitment to environmentally sustainable development during the production process. It deals with the additional eco requirements that you must have in place (together with the general requirements) achieve eco certification. This scope is available for salmon, freshwater fish and mussels.
Who can apply?
The CQA Standards are open to anyone within the region of Ireland, regardless of size, scale, management or minimum number of operators.
CQA Standards feedback
Send your CQA Standards comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our CQA team will guide you through the process of achieving certification and can advise on support available towards third-party fees for organic certification through the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme.
Step 1: Get in touch to identify your needs
Contact us at email@example.com for more information
Step 2: Know your CQA Standards
Download a copy of the relevant CQA Standards and familiarise yourself with the requirements:
Step 3: Get ready
Prepare your document management and record-keeping system.
Step 4: Pre-Audit
Contact your Certification Body to prepare for your full audit.
Step 5: Audit
Apply to the assigned Certification Body and arrange a date for your audit.
Read the full requirements in your CQA Standard document.
Browse this list for details of all CQA-certified farms, hatcheries, broodstock facilities and processing plants.
Performance Indicators related to CQA Scheme Objectives are recognised via ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. The companies that have been certified as having passed all criteria, are listed below:
|Supplier||Registered Site||Issue Date||Cert #|
|Ocean Farm Ltd||McSwynes and Inver Bay Processing Facility||1032
|Kush Seafarms Ltd||Ardgroom||1005|
|Millbrook Salmon Hatcheries Ltd||Donegal||1031|
|Marine Harvest Ireland||
Clare Island Seafarms
|Emerald Mussels Ltd||Carlingford Lough||1006|
|Bantry Harbour Mussels||Bantry||1011|
|Colin Whooley (Ocean Run Ltd)||Colin Whooley||1007|
|Iasc Sliogach Uisce Leathan Teo||Mulroy Bay||1019|
|Dunmanus Bay Mussels||Dunmanus Bay||1015|
|Mannin Seafoods Ltd||Roaringwater Bay||1010|
|Saltspray Mussel Technology Ltd||Bantry Bay||1024|
|Derrylea Holdings Ltd||
|Crescent Seafoods Ltd.||
The BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture Programme is owned and managed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).
BIM and its members have made a commitment that all activities of the CQA Programme:
- Are carried out in a systematic manner in accordance with defined and documented policies and procedures.
- Meet applicable legislative requirements.
- Are visible and auditable.
- Meet the needs of applicants, staff, certification bodies, accreditation bodies and all other related stakeholders.
- Describe the structure of the operating, certification and control procedures in the Programme Integrity Resources.
Programme Integrity Resources
- CQA QMS Governance & Control Manual (pdf 473Kb)
- QP1 – Certification Body Approval Requirements for the BIM CQA Audits and Certification (pdf 480Kb)
- QP2 – Application and Audit Requirement for the BIM CQA Farm Standard (pdf 491Kb)
- QP2A – Application and Audit Requirement for the BIM CQA Processing Standard (pdf 451Kb)
- QP3 – Appointment of BIM CQA Farm and Processing Auditors (pdf 284Kb)
- QP4 – BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture Procedure 5: Program of Work (pdf 281Kb)
- QP5 – BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Scheme Document Control (pdf 297Kb)
- QP6 – BIM CQA Logo Management (pdf 381Kb)
- QP7 – Appeals and Complaints Procedure for the BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture Scheme (pdf 247Kb)
- S1 – BIM CQA Standards Development Process and Procedure (pdf 280Kb)
- S2 – Terms of Reference (ToR) for the BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Oversight Committee (pdf 269Kb)
- S3 – Terms of Reference (ToR) for the BIM CQA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) (pdf 269Kb)
- S4 – BIM CQA Quality Management System – Document Register (pdf 190Kb)
- S5 – CQA Standards Programme of Work (pdf 194Kb)
Do you have comments that may improve the CQA Standards?
Stakeholders may make submissions on the CQA Standards throughout the year. All submissions will be considered by the CQA Technical Advisory Committee in the ongoing development of the CQA Standards.
Email your submission to the CQA Programme Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on our development plans for the CQA Standards and the Process of Revision to the CQA Standards see: