High Liner Foods Incorporated (HLF), the leading North American value-added frozen seafood company, has announced that it has achieved 99 percent of its goal to source all its seafood from “certified sustainable or responsible” fisheries and aquaculture. The company made a pledge in November 2010 to reach this goal by the end of 2013.
“Three years ago, we set an ambitious goal that fundamentally changed the way we do business, and I’m very proud that we’ve achieved 99 percent of that goal,” said Henry Demone, CEO of High Liner Foods. “I applaud the efforts of our entire team, and particularly our Corporate Director of Sustainability, Bill DiMento, and our Sustainability Council, procurement team, and systems development team for giving us a tool to track raw material purchases.”
Of the eight major species of fish and shellfish that High Liner purchases, the company says it has achieved 100 percent of its goal for Atlantic cod, haddock, pollock, sole/flounder, Pacific cod and Pacific salmon. HLF has reportedly achieved 98 percent of its commitment for tilapia and 91 percent for shrimp. Combined, those species totaled 196 million pounds of product purchased in 2013. Among the species that don’t currently meet High Liner’s sustainability criteria are various species of squid, ocean perch and small wild shrimp.
“The most powerful way to catalyze fishery improvements is through continuous buyer engagement in the process. High Liner Foods is a great example of an industry leader using its purchasing power to bring about real positive changes throughout its supply chain,” said Jim Cannon, CEO of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, High Liner Foods’ *non-governmental organization (*NGO) partner.
High Liner’s goal is for 100 percent of its wild-caught or farmed products to meet the following criteria:
- They come from fisheries and aquaculture farms certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program, or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC); or
- Those fisheries and farms not certified sustainable must be on a clear, defined path actively working toward certification and capable of documenting measurable improvements.
High Liner Foods says it will continue to collaborate with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, to achieve these objectives.
In October, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced the launch of what it’s calling the world’s most comprehensive toolkit for designing and implementing management systems that can restore the resiliency, sustainability and profitability of fisheries around the world. According to a recent study in Science, 80 percent of global fisheries lack important data for stock assessments, a critical first step toward sustainable fisheries. EDF says its toolkit includes a guide dedicated to bridging this gap, providing fishermen and managers with key resources and expertise. That same month, the Global Partnership for Oceans — a public-private partnership consisting of CEOs of seafood companies and civil society leaders, biologists and economists, policy-makers and entrepreneurs, created to help improve ocean health and human well-being — released Indispensible Ocean, a report outlining a series of integrated solutions aimed at creating sustainable and shared economic development, poverty reduction, and healthy marine ecosystems.