Craig Watson, Sysco Agricultural Sustainability Vice-president, stressed the significance of the commitment undertaken by the firm. (Photo: Sysco/FIS)
Sysco Corp collaborates with WWF, MSC for sustainable seafood
Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
Global food leader Sysco Corporation has vowed to review its current seafood supply and come up with ways to modify its standards and increase its purchases of sustainable seafood by 2015. The move comprises part of a multiple-stage World Wildlife Fund (WWF) commitment.
Sysco will start acquiring its top 10, own-brand wild-caught seafood species from fisheries that are either certified, under assessment by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or partaking in fishery improvement projects with WWF. The switch will involve about 52 per cent of the Sysco-branded seafood product line and include wild-caught tuna, clams, cod, pollock, shrimp, scallops, salmon, calamari, lobster and crab.
The company has also decided to encourage its tuna suppliers to engage in the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and thus shift toward long-term procurement from sustainable, MSC-certified tuna sources.
"Sysco is eager to begin this phase of sustainable work with WWF," said Craig Watson, Sysco's vice president-Agricultural Sustainability. "We believe that this level of supply-chain engagement will help with greater efforts to improve the health of the oceans and fisheries that we share."
Furthermore, Sysco has committed to collaborate closely with WWF on mahi-mahi and spiny lobster fishery improvement projects in South and Central America. The schemes, such as the adoption of a National Plan of Action for an Ecuadorian mahi-mahi fishery, will support the sustainable management of the fishery.
Sysco's involvement in the improvement of the lobster fisheries management will have a direct impact on these fisheries and help them perform at levels that meet MSC standards. In turn, this will be advantageous for local communities, fishers, suppliers and consumers.
"As a market leader in seafood, we applaud Sysco's commitments to adopt more sustainable practices for the benefit of the industry and our planet," said Bill Fox, vice president and managing director of WWF's Fisheries Programme. "Commitments like this are essential if we hope to conserve healthy oceans.”
By Natalia Real