Sysco tightens seafood sustainability policy to require more MSC- and ASC-certified seafood

Foodservice distributor Sysco will significantly increase its purchases of certified responsible seafood by 2025, as part of an enhanced commitment with its partner, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Houston, Texas, U.S.A.-based distributor will also expand its current responsible sourcing program for its U.S. broadline business to include sourcing for its specialty and Canadian broadline business, Sysco said in a press release. It is adding new commitments to prohibit the sale of endangered species, advance its traceability work, and help address deforestation.

By the end of 2025, Sysco has committed to sourcing 100 percent of its top 15 (by volume) wild-caught Sysco Portico Brand seafood species groups from fisheries that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), in MSC full assessment, or in a comprehensive fishery improvement project (FIP).

It will source at least 85 percent of this top 15 volume from fisheries that are MSC-certified.

Sysco also committed to sourcing 100 percent of Portico canned or pouched tuna products from fisheries that are MSC-certified, in MSC full assessment, in a comprehensive FIP, or from companies that are members of the International Seafood Sustainability Association, and source at least 25 percent of this volume from fisheries that are MSC-certified.

Sysco will also begin sourcing 100 percent of its top five (by volume) aquaculture Portico seafood species groups from farms that are certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), in ASC full assessment, in a credible aquaculture improvement project, or at a minimum Best Aquaculture Practices 2-star certified, and source at least 20 percent of this top five volume from farms that are ASC-certified.

Sysco will engage with its Portico farmed shrimp suppliers “to ensure supply chains are traceable to the farm’s geographic location and address issues of deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems (i.e. mangrove ecosystems and other natural wetlands),” the distributor said.

Sysco will prohibit the sale of endangered species for all of its seafood products globally. Endangered species are already an immaterial portion of Sysco’s seafood sales, the company said.

Sysco has had a successful partnership with WWF since 2009, resulting in sourcing more than 700 million pounds of more sustainable seafood, Sysco said.

“Due to its direct engagement, Sysco has influenced global supply chains, markets, and fisheries to engage in the journey towards producing more responsible seafood,” WWF Senior Director of Seafood Markets Caroline Tippett said. “We greatly commend Sysco’s continued commitment to this movement with its new, even more robust 2025 commitment goals. These efforts help safeguard the natural environment, the livelihoods of people who depend on these resources, and support the future stability of the seafood industry as a whole.”

Photo courtesy of Marti Bug Catcher/Shutterstock


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