Google launches fisheries program for employees

Published on
August 16, 2011

Google recently added Community Supported Fishery (CSF) services to its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs for employees at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The global company also revealed its “Green Seafood Policy,” which pertains to buying local and sustainable seafood.

The “Google CSF,” which was formed by the company in May, 2011, allows Google’s employees to purchase a weekly supply of local, sustainable seafood through its partnership with the Half Moon Bay Fisherman’s Association.

Google’s executive chef Liv Wu led Google’s move toward providing sustainable, local seafood after becoming familiar with Half Moon Bay fishermen (as a resident of the area), and realizing that a CSF could become a reality.

“When I joined the team as an executive chef in Mountain View, I wanted to make a difference in our purchasing program for seafood. In 2010, we began a push to apply the most rigorous standards to our seafood-buying practices, and respond to the in-the-moment fluctuations of the catch from small, independent fishermen,” Wu wrote on Google’s Official Blog.

Google developed a “Green Seafood Policy,” which states that the company should, whenever possible, “purchase species caught locally and in-season, by small, independent fisher-families, using environmentally-responsible methods.” “We think it’s important to be responsible to the fluctuations of catch too, and source from fisheries that enforce catch limits or are guided by ecosystem-based management programs,” Wu wrote.

Wu believes that fishermen should not have to sell their diminishing catch to wholesalers at a very low profit, “meaning that their livelihoods are no longer sustained by their catch,” she wrote. “There’s also the environmental factor to consider: overfishing and illegal practices cause worldwide decline in ocean wildlife populations and wreak havoc on underwater habitats – not to mention the carbon footprint of transporting seafood far from its origin,” Wu wrote.

While the Half Moon Bay Fishermen’s Association supplies only Google’s headquarters currently, it will soon add public drop-off sites, according to Wu. She also recommends CSF CSea in Bodega Bay, Calif. “As for us, we’ll continue to research and source responsibly managed farmed seafood,” Wu wrote.

In the future, Wu expects that Google’s CSA and CSF programs will be expanded to other offices. Google is also planning to add a grass-fed beef and pasture-raised poultry program, according to Wu.

Contributing Editor

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