FMI Adopts Sustainable Seafood Policy


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 25, 2009

The Food Marketing Institute announced Friday that its board of directors has adopted a policy encouraging members to support sustainable seafood programs.

The policy stems from the Sustainability Task Force the group's board chartered in 2006 to help members integrate sustainability into their operations. Target, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and Wegmans are among the retailers represented on the task force. In 2007, a Sustainable Seafood Working Group was formed out of the task force to identify sustainable seafood sourcing challenges that can be resolved on an industry-wide basis.

"The seafood working group is just trying to make sense of all the confusing, conflicting information that's out there," Jeanne von Zastrow, the seafood task force's senior director, told SeaFood Business in November. "Words cannot describe the lack of consistent guidelines within the NGO, government and retail communities. Sustainability is extremely complex because it touches every single part of our business."

The working group is developing guidelines to help retailers implement sustainable seafood purchasing policies, consulting with environmental groups such as the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.

On Friday, FMI recommended that its members learn about sustainable seafood issues and how they can be applied within the company; use the sustainable seafood resources available from FMI and other organizations to educate company employees; consider sustainability in developing purchasing policies; and explore sustainable seafood certification programs.

"The [retail] industry recognizes that sustaining the world's fisheries is critical to preserving the environment. It is also essential that supermarkets provide customers the variety of seafood needed for a healthy diet," says FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin.

Among the resources available at FMI's Web site,, are the FMI Carbon Footprint Project, FMI Policy on Plastic Bag Waste and Litter, the Sustainability Opportunity for Retail and Wholesale Executives and a Sustainability Starter Kit. 

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