Seafood Summit and Large Corporations for Change

The Seafood Summit takes place next week from January 31st to February 2nd at the Westin Bayshore. It will be a gathering of scientists, researchers, retailers, environmental groups, certifiers and multinational businesses to address issues of sustainability and saving our world’s fish stocks.

More and more retailers and international business are participating in this summit. When it started 9 years ago, the main participants were NGO’s and environmental groups. It seems their mission to inform large corporations of sustainable seafood choices has been successful. In the past, environmental groups lobbied large corporations to be more aware, but today, they are working alongside each other. The corporate bodies are working with sustainability experts to find solutions. Fundamentally, businesses are motivated to increase sales and in today’s market, a large number of consumers are demanding sustainable products. Since 2006, a handful of large corporations (examples listed below) have or are making promising pledges to stock their stores with sustainable and certified seafood products.

Examples of corporations making a difference:

2006 – Walmart pledged to source all its fish from sustainable fisheries.

2009 – Overwaitea Food Group works with SeaChoice to source only sustainably harvested seafood.

2010 – Loblaws set a time frame to have all its seafood products come from certified fisheries (down to the pet food).

2010 – High Liner (the 2011 Summit sponsor) commits to sourcing all their seafood  from certified suppliers by 2013.

2010 – Whole Foods implements sustainability rating program and works toward having fully sustainable sea food markets.

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