The Mexican Council for the Promotion of Seafood Consumption and Aquaculture Products (Comepesca) has signed a partnership with FishChoice, an environmental nonprofit that creates online tools that look to drive seafood sustainability.
Under what FishChoice called a “first-of-its-kind partnership,” the NGO will collaborate with Comepesca to increase access for North American buyers that seek to source sustainable seafood from Mexico, while also supporting Mexican seafood producers that prioritize sustainability.
“This is FishChoice's first partnership with an NGO based in Mexico and/or Latin America. We don't have any other NGO partners in the region, though there are a few Mexican businesses that were already FishChoice partners. We're hoping the new partnership will lead to more Mexican businesses joining as FishChoice partners and utilizing our tools to increase market access,” FishChoice Communications Manager Kat Bevington told SeafoodSource. “FishChoice business partners and NGO collaborators have been predominantly based in the U.S. and Canada, though we recently developed partnerships with NGOs based in the U.K. and E.U., so this does represent a step toward promoting sustainable seafood internationally and with this partnership, specifically in Mexico and Latin America.”
Under the agreement, Comepesca will encourage the companies it represents to become members of FishChoice. In so doing, those companies can highlight their Comepesca membership on their FishChoice profiles, making it easier for FishChoice’s more than 6,000 users – mostly located in the U.S. and Canada – to find them and source from them.
“FishChoice is the place buyers go to find sustainable products. We are excited to partner with them and to support our member-companies to improve their access to U.S. and Canadian buyers,” Comepesca President Citlali Gómez Lepe said.
Comepesca is a leading trade group that represents over 40 Mexican businesses committed to promoting seafood as an economic development driver. Some of its larger members include Del Pacífico, King Kampachi, Orca Seafoods, Pacifico Aquaculture, Baja Shellfish Frams, SmartFish, Sol Azul, Earth Ocean Farms, Atenea en el Mar, Baja Aqua Farms, and Pesmar.
“Mexican producers can help U.S. and Canadian buyers meet their sustainability goals,” FishChoice CEO Richard Boot said. “FishChoice.com is all about making it easier for buyers to find sustainable sourcing options, and that’s exactly what our partnership with Comepesca and its member companies does.”
Several Mexican companies have already highlighted their Comepesca memberships, and FishChoice and Comepesca hope to add several more by the end of this year.
“The viability of Mexican producers’ sustainability efforts depends on access to buyers who prioritize sustainability,” Orca Seafoods Managing Director Mauricio Orellana said. “We are hopeful that Comepesca’s partnership with FishChoice will improve market access.”
In March, Mexican seafood actors said during Seafood Expo North America Reconnect that getting the national seafood production certified as sustainable is the next significant step the country needs to take towards better environmental and commercial performance, according to participants in a panel focused on Mexico's seafood market. Currently, approximately 20 percent of all the seafood produced in Mexico is exported.