The seafood industry’s supply chain is notably opaque, complex and, in some areas, technologically deprived, experts say. But that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past. Dedicated efforts over the past two decades have improved the seafood supply chain’s sustainability — and we have an opportunity to do much more over the next several years.
Businesses, NGOs and governments have been collaborating to improve seafood supply chain transparency and sustainability since the 1990s, as Meredith Lopuch of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation noted during a panel discussion last month at the Fish 2.0 Competition Finals & Seafood Innovation Forum. The creation of the Marine Stewardship Council as a collaboration between industry and an environmental NGO (the World Wildlife Fund), was a new concept in 1997, she recalled.
"It was pretty shocking to the sector. The headline in the industry media was, ‘What is Unilever doing in bed with the treehuggers?’" said Lopuch, adding that within a decade, that collaboration led the way to sustainability commitments and NGO partnerships from many other large retailers, including Walmart.