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True Food Kitchen among first US buyers to join ASIC shrimp partnership

ASIC will source whiteleg shrimp from Thailand for True Food Kitchen.

The first shrimp verified by the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC) is arriving on US dining tables.

True Food Kitchen is one of the first US buyers to initiate an ASIC partnership to source whiteleg shrimp from Thailand from ASIC Shrimp Level 1 verified farms.

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These are equivalent to a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program “Good Alternative” recommendation.

ASIC, defines itself as a group of international stakeholders dedicated to developing creative strategies for improving the Asian Seafood industry.

The organization says it approaches the issue of shrimp aquaculture improvement differently than most by working closely with farmers and stakeholder at a time when the seafood industry is fraught with negative headlines.

Under the ASIC program farms and processors sign up to provide environmentally and socially responsible shrimp with fully traceable supply chains.

“ASIC is the first improvement program that’s built by stakeholders from the Southeast Asian region, which fosters greater change and stewardship,” says Rosanna Contreras, chair of ASIC.

Shrimp is one of America’s favorite seafoods with the majority of shrimp found in US markets imported from farms overseas.

“We are excited to be bringing the first ASIC shrimp to the US market," Roxanne Nanninga, sustainability director at Thai Union North America, said. "We plan to continue to grow and develop the farms taking part in this innovative program."

True Food Kitchen has restaurants in a dozen US states. It is known for health-focused menu items and its policy of providing sustainably sourced ingredients.

“ASIC shrimp checks all of the boxes for our priorities,” says Taylor Domet, director of culinary standards at True Food Kitchen.

“The industry has been turning a blind eye to shrimp aquaculture for too long. ASIC is a groundbreaking initiative that is leading the way to revolutionize shrimp aquaculture and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” Domet added.

Over the next 12 months, ASIC said it plans to organize visits to its farms in Southeast Asia for buyers and chefs to illustrate the importance of sourcing ingredients from responsible supply chains.

“Environmental and social well-being are closely linked. ASIC shrimp reflects that relationship between livelihoods and sustainability,” said Wendy Norden, science director at Seafood Watch, which produces one of the best known sustainable seafood advisory lists.

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