SFP: Walmart agrees to publicize seafood sourcing data; Nueva Pescanova strengthens sustainability ties
Walmart has joined the Ocean Disclosure Project (OCP), pledging to reveal more details regarding the way it sources seafood via a public portal on the project’s website, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) announced on 8 November.
The data to be hosted on the OCP portal could include the locations where Walmart sources its wild-caught seafood, as well as the gear types used to acquire that catch. Fisheries management information, environmental impacts, certifications, and fishery improvement project data could also be featured on Walmart’s OCP public profile page, said SFP.
Walmart, which is considered to be the world’s third-largest employer by number of employees (2.1 million), is excited to take part in the project, according to Laura Phillips, Walmart's senior vice president of sustainability.
”We are proud of our efforts to make the seafood we sell more sustainable and joining the Ocean Disclosure Project is one more way we can show our passion and commitment for sustainability and transparency,” Phillips said. “ODP provides an important service to consumers and other stakeholders when understanding where their seafood comes from.”
A host of other retailers have already signed on to be OCP participants, including the United Kingdom’s Asda, Co-op Food, and Morrisons, and U.S.-based Publix. Several seafood suppliers have also agreed to use the OCP portal, including North Atlantic, Joseph Robertson, and French foodservice company Davigel. Aquaculture feed manufacturers Biomar, Cargill/EWOS, and Skretting have also joined the project.
Having Walmart join the project’s efforts will hopefully cause a ripple effect throughout the industry, and convince more retailers and suppliers to sign up for the portal, said Blake Lee-Harwood, strategy director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
“It is fantastic news that the largest retailer in the world has now joined the Ocean Disclosure Project," Lee-Harwood said. "Walmart has made a huge contribution to making seafood more sustainable and is now showing real leadership in adopting a more transparent approach to the sustainability aspects of the fish and shellfish the company sells. We hope this move will encourage other retailers and processors to join the ODP and tell their customers about the sustainability of their seafood.”
The Ocean Disclosure Project, which was created in 2015, launched its own website in early 2017, and while the interface is still being operated by SFP, there are plans to make it independent by 2020.
In other news related to SFP, on 13 November, the nonprofit anncounced it had acquired a new corporate partner in Spain’s Nueva Pescanova Group.
Nueva Pescanova currently operates in more than two dozen countries, and is looking “forward to working with SFP to improve the sustainability of its supply chain, using various improvement projects and data management tools,” it said in a press release.
“Working together with SFP is an important step that will help us to be more transparent and contribute more actively in improving the conservation of resources and the rationalization of fishing, a commitment that has been present in the DNA of our company for almost six decades,” said Juanjo De la Cerda, corporate director of research and development, quality, and sustainability of the Nueva Pescanova Group.
The company's history and enthusiasm toward sustainable practices, highlighted by the establishment of its own sustainable fishing certificate, audited by Bureau Veritas for hake catches in Namibia, make Nueva Pescanova an ideal partner for SFP, the organization said.
“Nueva Pescanova has a history in the seafood industry in Spain and globally,” SFP Deputy Director of Buyer Engagement Pedro Ferreiro said. “We are certain that Pescanova’s engagement will inspire other companies worldwide to follow its lead toward a more sustainable future.”