GSSI working to benchmark social compliance; welcomes new members

Published on
May 17, 2018

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) is collaborating with the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative in order to create a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes in the global seafood sector.

The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) provides auditing and certification of sustainability criteria, with a focus on social issues. It is operated by the Consumer Goods Forum, an industry network encouraging the global adoption of practices and standards for the production of consumer goods.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the CGF’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative on such an important initiative for the industry. Addressing social compliance has long been on the horizon for GSSI and to do this now with the CGF will deliver great value to the seafood industry,” GSSI Managing Director Herman Wisse said. “Utilizing GSSI’s global partnership to support the development of the SSCI Benchmark Tool for social compliance schemes brings us one step closer to our vision of more sustainable seafood for everyone.”

The two organizations jointly announced at the 2018 Seafood Expo Global that their development of a social compliance benchmark will rely on ILO Conventions and Recommendations and United Nations’ Guiding Principles, and will be aligned with the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labor. They said the benchmarking will also take into account the specificities of the seafood sector and the special nature of work in food harvesting.

"The collaboration between the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative to develop a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes represents an extremely positive step forward for the seafood industry,” Thai Union Global Director of Sustainability Darian McBain said in a press release. “The development of this benchmark will help safeguard the well-being of the 56 million people directly employed in fisheries and aquaculture.”

The GSSI has also announced the addition of several seafood companies to its membership roster, including:

  • Ultco, a specialty seafood platform focused on responsibly ocean-raised and wild-harvested species. ULTCO is also the exclusive North American sales and marketing partner of Norwegian Atlantic salmon and steelhead trout producer Seaborn;
  • Russian Fishery Company, Russia’s largest pollock harvester;
  • Rema Foods, a global food importer and supplier focused on providing unique specialty items as well as broader commodity based products. The company supplies seafood to some of the largest restaurant, foodservice, retail and manufacturing companies in the United States;
  • Mazzetta Company, LLC, a fully integrated importer, distributor, and producer of frozen seafood for the North American foodservice, grocery, and broadliner market;
  • Congalsa, a processor and marketer of breaded, battered, baked, and plain fish, squid, and other seafood products, primarily serving the European market;
  • Seattle Fish Co., a supplier of wholesale fresh fish and seafood throughout Kansas City, Denver, and the Rocky Mountain area in the United States;
  • Glacier Fish Company, a catcher-processor of Alaska pollock;
  • CenSea, one of the largest importers of frozen seafood in the Midwestern United States., servicing restaurant chains, foodservice distributors, retailers, and wholesalers;
  • Arctic Storm Management Group, LLC, a Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based fishing company that oversees the fishing and processing of four fishing vessels that operate in the North Pacific and West Coast regions of the United States;
  • Schnuck Markets, Inc., a grocery/pharmacy retailer operating 100 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
  • Sunnyvale Seafood, a supplier of shrimp, fish, and other seafood products to retail and foodservice distributors and ethnic chains in the U.S.;

“Sunnyvale is proud to partner with the GSSI in their mission to benchmark eco-certification schemes.  Sustainable seafood is paramount to our business and we believe working with GSSI on this program adds value both up and downstream. We believe that encouraging universal retailer and food service industries requirement of certification to robust standards will ultimately make sustainable seafood the status quo in the marketplace.” Sunnyvale Seafood President Jeff Sedacca said in a press release.

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