Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MSC Certificate for Alaska Salmon Changing Hands

Two seafood industry trade associations have come to an agreement to transfer, effective for the 2016 season and beyond, ownership of the Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certificate for Alaska salmon.

The transfer announced July 21 by the Pacific Seafood Processors Association and the Alaska Salmon Processors Association is to be completed by Oct. 1.

The agreement will have no impact on sales for 2015.

The decision was made in the best interests of the industry, said Glenn Reed, president of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, and Rob Zuanich, executive director of the Alaska Salmon Processors Association. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lengthy earlier efforts by Trident Seafoods and other processors who had dropped their MSC certification in favor of a similar certificate offered through the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute had failed.

PSPA, which was not involved in the previous negotiations, then approached MSC to begin the process of getting a second sustainability certificate for Alaska salmon, which also would not be effective until 2016.

PSPA took into consideration the time involved and the extra burden that a second client group would put on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the industry, Reed said. “We decided to manage this under one certificate and we were able to come to an agreement on that.”

Zuanich said his group did not feel a new client group was a practical approach, “ so we decided to consolidate and move on to other matters.

“We enjoyed being the client, but we don’t need two clients, so from a matter of being practical, they are now the client,” he said.

Once the certificate is transferred, membership will be available to anyone who wishes to participate and there will be a cost structure for those who want to become involved,” Reed said. “Those companies who choose to join the client group will collectively determine how the certificate is managed.”

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