Food Alliance Certification

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Program Overview
Food Alliance Certified

Food Alliance is a non-profit organization that certifies farms, ranches, food processors and distributors for sustainable agriculture and management practices. Operations that meet Food Alliance’s standards, as determined by a third-party site inspection, use certification to make credible claims for social and environmental responsibility, differentiating their products and strengthening their brands.

Food Alliance Shellfish Certification Program

The Food Alliance shellfish certification program covers soil, water, and biodiversity conservation, healthy and humane care for shellstock, shared resource management, and safe and fair working conditions. Although some approaches to shellfish production can have positive ecosystem effects, particularly in regard to water quality, consumers and commercial food buyers are increasingly concerned about aquaculture's impacts on the environment. At the same time, concerns for food safety in the shellfish industry is creating greater demand for transparency and traceability. Certification by credible, third-party organizations like Food Alliance can help address these demands.

Certified Businesses
Certification Criteria

Shellfish Producers

Food Alliance shellfish certification criteria apply to all North American shellfish 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. 


To become Food Alliance Certified and market shellfish products with Food Alliance’s certification seal, an operation must:

  1. Comply with all fixed criteria for Food Alliance Certified shellfish

  2. Score an average of 3.0 out of 4 overall in each of the six scored criteria areas. 

Fixed Criteria for Food Alliance Certified Shellfish:

  • No GMO breeds are used, no cloned animals are used. (Triploid animals are not considered GMO, as no genes are introduced.)

  • No prohibited pesticides are used.

  • No growth-promoting hormones or other growth promotants are used.

  • No antibiotics are used.

  • Shellfish intended for further grow-out, hardening or relay may be moved from one farm to another if both operations are Food Alliance certified.

Scored Criteria:

  1. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation

  2. Healthy and Humane Care for Shellstock

  3. Shared Resource Management

  4. Soil and Water Conservation

  5. Reducing Pesticide Usage

  6. Safe and Fair Working Conditions