Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alaska’s RFM Program Considered by GSSI

A sustainable fisheries certification program, designed by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, is up for consideration of Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative Recognition.

Beginning on March 8 and concluding on April 5, GSSI is conducting a public consultation on its Benchmark Report, after independent experts found the Alaska RFM to be in alignment with all GSSI essential components.

Susan Marks, sustainability program director for ASMI, said in an interview on March 14 that ASMI sees this international multi-stakeholder approach as a very robust benchmark to measure ASMI”s Responsible Fisheries Management certification program.

The hope is that buyers and retailers out there who have made a commitment to a specific sustainability program would broaden their procurement options, she said.

“That’s the hope,” she added. “The reality is this is so new that nobody knows how this will change the (marketing) landscape.”

Recognition of ASMI”s RFM program would be the first such sustainability program recognition from the GSSI initiative, a work in progress for more than five years.

“Our hope is that we would have an official decision by mid-April and then an official announcement at the Brussels Seafood Show at the end of April, she said.

GSSI, formed in 2013, engages international partners in a collective approach to providing clarity on seafood certification and ensuring consumers can be confident in certified seafood on the market. As of last year, GSSI had 32 funding partners, and works closely with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to create a level playing field on seafood certification.

Details on the GSSI Benchmark Report and information on how to comment are on the GSSI website,

ASMI had applied for GSSI recognition and was benchmarked against the organization’s benchmark tools on governance, operational management and fisheries. GSSI’s benchmark committee then recommended that the Alaska RFM program be GSSI recognized, after finding that the Alaska RFM was in alignment with all GSSI essential components.

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