Iberostar Group joins GSSI as its first tourism funding partner
The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) has found its first tourism funding partner in Spanish multinational company Iberostar Group, the organization announced on 28 May.
A family-owned enterprise, Iberostar Group owns and operates more than 120 four-and five-star resorts in 19 countries. Through its Wave of Change movement, the company has committed to sourcing 100 percent of its seafood from responsible sources by 2025 – a mission that is supported through its new GSSI partnership, Iberostar Responsible Seafood Strategy Director Adriana Sanchez said.
"Our new partnership with GSSI is pivotal to us reaching our goal of 100 [percent] responsible seafood consumption by 2025. We are looking forward to working with them and utilizing the benchmarking tool as an opportunity to expand our responsible seafood procurement and support their new initiative Seafood MAP," Sanchez said in a press release.
Wave of Change, a pioneer responsible tourism movement established in 2017, focuses on moving beyond plastics and towards a circular economy, as well as promoting responsible seafood consumption and improving coastal health, Iberostar said.
Seafood MAP was launched by GSSI and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, back in March during a SeafoodSource webinar. The new market and investment program is aimed at accelerating sustainable seafood worldwide, with support from leading seafood companies.
According to GSSI, Seafood MAP – Measuring and Accelerating Performance of global seafood supply – “provides global guidance and incentives to seafood producers that are not yet certified to become more sustainable and profitable.” It dually serves to create investment opportunities for financiers to support sustainable seafood supply in fast-growing consumer markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and beyond.
“In a fragmented sector like seafood, the alignment and shared learning under Seafood MAP are essential to drive the majority of seafood, that is still uncertified, towards responsible and future-proof practices that can feed the world,” IDH Aquaculture Director Flavio Corsin said.
This year, Seafood MAP is working on the development of a responsible roadmap and framework based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and FAO Guidelines, GSSI and IDH said in March. The first pilots are expected to go live in mid-2020 following the latest assessments in light of the global pandemic, GSSI noted.
“Seafood MAP offers enormous value for our industry and international partners as we work together to accelerate sustainable seafood worldwide. We look forward to more organizations joining our shared sustainability journey,” GSSI Executive Director Herman Wisse said.
Bill DiMento, who serves as the corporate vice president of sustainability and government affairs for High Liner Foods and as GSSI Board Chairman, explained the connective opportunities available through the Seafood MAP program.
“Seafood MAP will provide a responsible roadmap for seafood industry buyers, retailers, food service distributors and operators to engage with fisheries and aquaculture operations that do not currently have resources to achieve certification,” DiMento said. “Supporting these efforts will allow buyers to make credible commitments while driving positive improvements in resource limited fisheries and aquaculture. Seafood MAP has a great opportunity working alongside credible certification schemes to close the enormous gap in sustainable fisheries around the world.”
Nueva Pescanova Chief Corporate Social Responsibility and Institutional Relations Officer Ángel Matamoro Irago corroborated DiMento’s sentiment.
“The program promotes collaboration between industry and governments, as is the case in Galicia, where Nueva Pescanova and the regional government will pilot Seafood MAP this year,” Irago said.
A public-private partnership on seafood sustainability, GSSI has 90-plus stakeholders across the seafood industry. In addition to its latest partnership with Iberostar, GSSI also allied with Tecnológica de Alimentos S.A. (TASA) as a funding partner this year in March. TASA, a world fishing company specialized in the production and export of high-quality marine ingredients, such as fishmeal and fish oil, and foods, joined forces with GSSI to help it further and connect on its own responsibility aims.
“We believe the experience that GSSI can provide will help us in achieving our high goals as well as we can participate in a space where we can share our knowledge while learning from our partners around the world,” Dereck Zimmermann, the central fishing manager of TASA, said in a 16 March press release.