E-commerce giant JD.com commits to ambitious BAP certification goals

Published on
April 26, 2018

One of China’s two leading online retailers, JD.com, has committed itself to selling Best Aquaculture Practises (BAP) certified product in a potentially significant move that could have a big impact on sustainability given China’s growing online sales of seafood. 

With JD.com racing to lock down new supply for China’s growing seafood demand, the company has committed to having 50 percent of the farmed seafood sold on its site two-star BAP certified by 2020. It has likewise committed that 80 percent of farmed seafood sold on its private label will be two-star BAP compliant by 2020. 

JD.com last year signed a memorandum of understanding with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to start offering BAP-certified products to JD’s online customers via its fresh food platform, JD Fresh. GAA vice president Steven Hart said this week he expected JD.com to “surpass” the firm’s new 2020 commitments. 

JD.com is one of the two leading players in China’s online commerce market, battling Alibaba for sales in what is the world’s top e-commerce market. While online commerce accounts for only 10 percent of China’s overall grocery sales, JD.com’s influence over seafood distribution is likely to grow: JD.com earlier this year announced the launch of a new B2B division supplying China’s restaurant sector with seafood and other supplies.

The new partnership with the GAA is not, however, JD.com’s first effort on sustainable sourcing. CEO Liu Qiangdong last year signed a strategic partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to mark World Ocean Day, but a Chinese environmental group subsequently highlighted the presence of Bluefin tuna – an endangered species – for sale on JD.com. The tuna was withdrawn by JD.com. 

The JD.com announcement comes amidst the throes of Seafood Expo Global, held in Brussels, Belgium from 24 to 26 April, where The Global Aquaculture Alliance is exhibiting at stand #7-1405 in Hall 7.

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