February 1, 2017 — SEAFOOD NEWS — Fishwise, a Sustainable Seafood Consultancy in California, has issued two white papers on seafood traceability and labor abuse in the seafood supply chain.
Both papers are comprehensive reviews of how both government and industry is tackling the problems identified.
The reports include some recommendation on supply chain best practices, that Fishwise hopes will be adopted by its retail partners, which include Albertsons Co., Target Corp., and Hy-Vee Inc.
The reports also detail the industry support of many of these initiatives through corporate programs, including those of Thai Union, High Liner, Young’s Seafood and the National Fisheries Institute.
The Fishwise traceability white paper, Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry, calls for ongoing collaboration. Traceability – a term that describes the ability to track the flow of products and product transformations throughout the supply chain – has received more attention as a way to combat IUU fishing. In particular, the European Union and the United States have both recently instituted anti-IUU fishing regulations requiring increased record keeping and reporting for select imported seafood products. These regulations, building upon those addressing food safety, have prompted companies around the globe to make improvements to their product tracking systems and to initiate conversations within their supply chains. FishWise’s white paper highlights many key traceability initiatives and outlines next steps all types of businesses can take to improve their traceability practices.
NFI has sued the US government over the implementation of its traceability rules, arguing that they are less targeted than those of the EU, which NFI supports.
Mariah Boyle, Traceability Division Director at FishWise says it is an exciting time for an NGO/Consultant to be working on traceability. “ New government requirements, novel efforts by individual companies, new NGO collaborations, and pre-competitive initiatives by private sector leaders are all focusing on this critical foundation of seafood supply chains,” said Boyle. “By sharing examples and providing guidance, we hope our white paper will empower more supply chains to make traceability improvements.”
The second white paper deals with Labor Abuse. “Social Responsibility in the Global Seafood Industry“, outlines the drivers of human rights and labor abuses, identifies social responsibility resources for businesses, and provides information on key legislation and initiatives. The paper traces the history of media investigations of labor abuse, starting with challenges to aquaculture, and moving to writing about slavery and forced labor on fishing vessels.
“Collaboration is critical because no one government, company, or NGO has the influence to eliminate human rights abuses on their own,” said Mariah Boyle, Traceability Division Director at FishWise.
The report highlights efforts to create full databases of blacklisted vessels, and ways to keep them out of a company supply chain.
This story originally appeared on Seafood News.com, a subscription site. It is reprinted with permission.