GAPP
Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers
info@alaskapollock.org

Chain of Integrity Program

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The Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) Chain of Integrity program was developed to assist school districts in identifying and specifying high quality seafood products that meet the Buy American provision of the National School Lunch Act. This provision requires that all seafood products must be harvested and processed in the United States.

The GAPP program assures that any Alaska pollock products bearing the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers logo are made from once-frozen seafood that was caught and processed in Alaska. When school districts specify seafood products with the GAPP logo, schools are assured that these products meet the Buy American provisions and are once-frozen for the highest quality. The logo on the product case ensures that the seafood ordered by the school district is the same product received at the kitchen door.

How the program works
Manufacturers submit their once-frozen seafood products for independent audit by the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers. The program includes submitting a “chain of custody” for the product showing all of the processing steps the product goes through and how it is separated from any twice-frozen products in the processing plants. If this chain of custody passes all requirements, the processor is certified and allowed to mark once-frozen Alaska product with the GAPP logo. The program is audited by the U.S. Department of Commerce to ensure compliance.

Background on processed seafood products
Schools can currently buy once-frozen or twice-frozen commercial seafood products. As an example, Alaska pollock can be caught either by Russian fleets or American fleets. When caught in Russia the fish is usually minimally processed (headed and gutted) at sea and frozen whole (first freeze) on the boat. The whole fish are then sent to China where they are thawed, filleted and processed into a standard block that is frozen (second freeze). These twice-frozen blocks are shipped to the United States where they are cut into individual products that are breaded and battered. Even though the fish is harvested and processed in foreign countries, if breading occurs in the United States, current labeling law allows the finished products to be labeled “Product of USA.” Therefore, “Product of USA” labeling does not ensure compliance with the Buy American provisions for child nutrition programs.

Fish is a fragile protein and loses moisture and quality the more it is processed. Quality studies comparing once-frozen Alaska pollock fillet blocks to twice-frozen pollock fillet blocks caught in Russia and processed in China show that once-frozen blocks are superior to twice-frozen blocks in over 40 quality characteristics, including better flavor, aroma and texture. In addition, twice-frozen products can contain additives such as tri-polyphosphates to reestablish product moisture lost during the double freezing process.

Sourcing high quality, once-frozen seafood
The best way to ensure that your school is receiving U.S.-harvested and processed, once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock is to specify the use of the GAPP logo in all your bids and purchases. Additional specification components for sourcing quality fish products and a list of current products containing once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock is available from the Genuine Alaska Pollock producers.

Contact
Please call (206) 913-3930 or email info@alaskapollock.org for more information.

 
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(206) 913-3930 | info@alaskapollock.org