NFI counters Greenpeace foodservice report

Published on
August 24, 2016

A U.S. seafood organization countered claims by Greenpeace that they are failing to provide seafood that meets sustainability and social responsibility standards.

Greenpeace is no longer being taken seriously by foodservice firms and retailers, and its new report is simply a fundraising effort, according to the National Fisheries Institute (NFI).

In its new “Sea of Distress” report, Greenpeace said that the U.S. foodservice industry as a whole has failed on traceability and incentivizes consumption with discount programs for bulk purchasing without regard for environmental or social impacts.

Plus, Greenpeace claims, the foodservice industry is failing to address potential human rights abuses in seafood supply chains abroad, and must improve its treatment of U.S. workers, including paying employees a living wage.

“It’s particularly disappointing that two of the largest foodservice companies, Sysco and US Foods, continue to provide destructively caught seafood to foodservice operators nationwide,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner David Pinsky. “Given their size and position in the supply chain, these two companies have a responsibility to provide only sustainable, ethical seafood.”

However, of the 15 foodservice suppliers and distributors featured in the Greenpeace report, only three filled out its survey. “It’s a clear indication of how marginalized Greenpeace has become in this discussion,” Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for NFI, told SeafoodSource.

In fact, Greenpeace is no longer invited to International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) meetings to participate in the ongoing dialogue about tuna fisheries and sustainability. “Greenpeace refuses to join the grown-ups at the table to discuss real sustainability studies. This would clearly take too much time away from hitting donors up for cash,” Gibbons said.

Greenpeace criticized the foodservice distributors’ use of seafood from companies such as Thai Union. “Thai Union has faced continued pressure for its destructive fishing methods and connections to human rights abuses in several supply chains,” the organization said.

“Many foodservice companies have avoided accountability for the seafood they sell for far too long,” Pinsky said. “These companies feed millions of people in university cafeterias, corporate dining halls, restaurants, and hospitals, yet consumers are kept in the dark about whether their seafood is sustainable and ethical.”

Meanwhile, Greenpeace said that only Sodexo, Compass Group and Aramark received low passing scores, “indicating there is much room for improvement”. The three major distributors led in overall scores due to their transparency, sustainability sourcing requirements and advocacy efforts, according to the organization.

Contributing Editor



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