The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC), a coalition of major seafood suppliers, brands, supermarkets and restaurants has published two codes of conduct guiding their environmental labeling and sourcing policies. One code is designed to give consumers certainty about what environmental claims on fish and seafood mean, while the second will ensure coalition members source their fish and seafood products responsibly.
By signing the labeling code, businesses commit to all voluntary environmental claims like “sustainably sourced” and “responsibly sourced” made on their own-brand seafood being consistent, clear and accurate.
By agreeing to the sourcing code, members commit to having good traceability, being transparent about their sourcing policies, and carrying out annual risk assessments on fisheries and also audits for aquaculture sources.
In 2011, SSC secretariat ClientEarth criticised seafood brands for making misleading environmental claims on products such as tinned tuna, haddock, cod, and farmed fish. The environmental law group brought together the SSC with seven founding members to address this. It is the first cross-industry group in the UK to tackle seafood sustainability using their influence as seafood businesses.
SSC members signing up to the labeling code are: Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Lyons Seafoods, New England Seafood Limited, The Saucy Fish Co. / Icelandic Group UK, Young’s Seafood Limited, Direct Seafoods and M&J Seafood.
They have committed to all new packaging printed from Sept. 18, 2015 being in line with the code.
Members signing up to the sourcing code are: Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Feng Sushi, Harbour Lights Falmouth, River Cottage, Lyons Seafoods, New England Seafood Limited, The Saucy Fish Co. / Icelandic Group UK, Young’s Seafood Limited, Direct Seafoods, Le Lien, M&J Seafood.
They have committed to implementing the sourcing code within one year, by which point they will have engagement plans in place to improve any medium or high-risk fisheries or farms.
In 18 months ClientEarth will publish a further review of members’ activities to publicly report on implementation of the codes.
Las month Hyatt Hotels launched a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at its hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of their inventory by 2018.