National Seafood Month Call To Action
October is National Seafood Month and FishWise is urging those in the industry to dedicate this time to examining your supply chains for holistic sustainability. Seafood is among the most widely traded commodities on earth and due to the complicated nature of the trade, labor abuses are possible in any supply chain. Those sellers dedicated to responsible sourcing know these checks must be a regular occurrence.
FishWise can help retailers conduct regular examinations of supply chains to support the prevention of labor abuses. Our free guide, RISE (Roadmap for Improved Seafood Ethics), helps identify the potential for labor abuses and guides mitigation. Thanks to our funder, Walmart Foundation, RISE helps seafood businesses create actionable human rights due diligence plans.
We break down how to examine your supply chain into eight steps, with ambitious but attainable goals. Here’s a snapshot of what your supply chain exam should look like:
- Commit. Ensure your goals are aligned with international standards and recognized best practices. Share the commitment publicly. You can find international frameworks for human rights and seafood here.
- Learn. The more you know, the more this process will come more naturally to your organization and partners. RISE helps seafood businesses create a process for human rights due diligence. There are lots of documented human rights abuses and case studies that address those problems at RISEseafood.org.
- Assess. Map out your existing supply chains, flag products associated with higher risk geographies, species, and production or harvest methods. Based on what you learn from this assessment, you can now begin to address problems you may find.
- Build. Establish processes to identify operational issues with suppliers. If you identify a problem, we recommend attempting to implement improvements with suppliers before terminating the business relationship.
- Collaborate. Join pre-competitive collaborations and other initiatives that support social responsibility improvements. Consider a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between employers, trade unions, or other employee representatives.
- Remediate. Remediation needs of workers can range from immediate needs such as food, clothing, health and safety, to more involved, long-term needs including formal employment, psychosocial support, socio-economic stability, and legal assistance.
- Iterate. The seafood trade is complex and ever-evolving, so this type of wellness check should be a regular practice. Review the best practices and asks of companies developed by civil society organizations. RISE offers resources for best practices here.
- Communicate. Your voice can help influence long-term positive change in the seafood industry. Report annually on progress and share commitments, pre-competitive actions, challenges, and measurable progress through annual reports, blogs, and other media.
For further guidance in ensuring your business’ seafood is sourced responsibly contact our business engagement team at business-engagement@FishWise.org.