Three leading organizations focused on equitable, responsible sourcing are joining forces to equip the seafood sector with tools and resources to evaluate human rights and labor risks.
ARLINGTON, Va. (Nov. 28, 2023) – Conservation International, LRQA, and FishWise today announced the formation of the Consortium for Social Risks in Seafood. With support from the Walton Family Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, this first-of-its kind partnership will offer credible guidance on how to assess human rights and labor issues across the seafood supply chain, a critical step toward improving working conditions and livelihoods within the industry.
Over the next two years, Consortium partners will update and refine the Social Responsibility Assessment Tool, a widely applicable methodology that enables users to identify and assess social risks in fisheries, aquaculture farms, and processing facilities. The Consortium will also update the Roadmap to Improve Seafood Ethics (RISE) platform, which provides guidance and resources on human rights due diligence targeted at different levels of the seafood supply chain.
Additional work will include the creation of a new Advisory Committee and a series of in-person and virtual workshops that will directly engage fishworkers, their representatives, human and labor rights groups, and the seafood industry at large. The group will also analyze the potential integration of social and environmental risk data into a customized seafood platform to enable data-driven decision-making amongst seafood businesses.
“Action must be rooted in quality data and amplified worker participation and agency. With this agreement, we’re bringing together our unique expertise to deliver actionable and scalable guidance for the seafood industry on how to implement effective human rights due diligence,” said Kelley Bell, the Social Responsibility Division Director at FishWise.
Half of the companies assessed by the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Seafood Sustainability Index, an initiative to benchmark seafood companies’ social and environmental impacts aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, have little to no commitment to protect human rights in their operations and supply chains.
“There is great opportunity for improvement across the seafood industry. We hope the Consortium’s guidance, direct partnership with industry members, and use of critical data will help foster a more ethical and equitable environment for fishworkers,” said Ashley Apel, Seafood Partnerships Manager at Conservation International.
“Fundamentally, the Consortium aims to improve the conditions and wellbeing of fishers, farmers, and workers in seafood supply chains, promote decent work, and empower companies to manage their social risks,” said Meghan Quinlan, Vice President of Food and Agriculture at lead global assurance partner, LRQA. “With new human rights due diligence legislation emerging around the world, there is an urgency to gain visibility and better understand social risks in seafood supply chains.”
Additional initiatives will include the implementation of social risk assessments and actionable recommendations for how the sustainable seafood movement can better incorporate social risk data into decision-making.
The Consortium will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, December 12th from 11am-12pm Eastern to showcase how LRQA’s risk data and due diligence platform, EiQ, could be expanded and customized for the seafood sector. Please register for the webinar here.
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
About LRQA: LRQA is a leading global assurance partner, bringing together decades of unrivaled expertise in assessment, advisory, inspection and cybersecurity services – underpinned by data-driven insights – to help its clients navigate a new era of risk. Operating in more than 160 countries with a team of more than 6,000 people, LRQA’s award-winning compliance, supply chain, cybersecurity and ESG specialists help more than 61,000 clients across almost every sector to anticipate, mitigate and manage risk wherever they operate. Find out more at www.lrqa.com or on LinkedIn and Twitter
About FishWise: FishWise is a non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy whose mission is to sustain ocean ecosystems and the people who depend on them by transforming global seafood supply chains. We take a holistic approach to sustainability, founded on the idea that solutions for seafood issues exist where environmental protection and social justice converge. FishWise operates across three strategic pathways: direct supply chain engagement, collective industry engagement, and governance reform. Our work is powered by data, equipping businesses and a diverse community of collaborators to lead the transition to a sustainable, ethically responsible seafood industry. Go to FishWise.org and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for more information.
About Philanthropy at Walmart: Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.