11 industry leaders form new GDST Steering Committee

October 2, 2019 — The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability is pleased to announce the formation of a strong new Steering Committee featuring eleven leading GDST member companies and associations.  The formation of this Steering Committee represents a significant step in the development and adoption of voluntary industry standards for traceability in the seafood industry worldwide.

The eleven companies and associations taking on this new leadership responsibility are:

  • AP2HI
  • Culinary Collaborations
  • Thai Union
  • The Fishin’ Company
  • Labeyrie Fine Foods
  • Metro AG
  • New England Seafood International
  • Orca Bay Foods
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Vietnam Assoc. of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)
  • Whole Foods Market

In addition, WWF and the Institute of Food Technologists (Global Food Traceability Center) — the two NGOs responsible for organizing and facilitating the GDST  — will also hold seats on the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee will be co-chaired by the representatives of Metro AG and WWF.

The composition of the Steering Committee reflects the diversity and strength of the GDST itself, including members from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and from across the seafood supply chain.  Industry actors joining and endorsing the GDST now include over 60 companies, representing seafood production valued in excess of USD $35 billion per year. 

The GDST has been powered by its industry members since its launch in April 2017. The formation of the Steering Committee now comes as the GDST enters the final phase of preparing global industry standards to support inter-operable seafood traceability.  Steering Committee leadership will reenforce the drive towards adoption and early implementation.  The GDST standards are expected to be open for adoption by GDST member companies during Q1 of 2020.  Once adopted and implemented, GDST standards will dramatically improve the efficiency, reliability, and affordability of seafood traceability, helping businesses obtain and share the information they need about the origins of seafood products.  The result will be more transparent and reliable seafood supply chains, as consumers increasingly demand and as governments increasingly require.


GDST Steering Committee Member Company Profiles

The Indonesian Pole & Line and Handline Fisheries Association (AP2HI) is founded on the needs of the pole & line and handline industry to unite their aspiration and to promote and support the sustainability of tuna fisheries in Indonesia. AP2HI has more than 40 active members including fishermen, fishing companies, and processing enterprises. They all commit to the organization’s code of conduct to implement sustainable fishing practices through industry innovation and achieving MSC certification through a fisheries improvement program. The activities of AP2HI span the entire fisheries improvement program and include training, tracking and tracing, data collection, observer programs, vessel registration, port sampling, bait cultivation, liaison with government, and branding and promotion of a new Indonesian Tuna Brand.

Culinary Collaborations LLC is a boutique product development and distribution company specializing in the production of clean, all-natural, sustainable and traceable food ingredients for use in large sushi programs

The Fishin’ Company is the largest importer of tilapia in the world and one of the largest importers of frozen fish, with offices and processing sites located around the world.  Established in 2002, The Fishin’ Company supplies many of the largest retailers and food services companies in the world with both private label and Fishin’ branded packaging options. Vertical integration and long-term supplier partnerships allow The Fishin’ Company to provide specific retail packaging, custom products, and bulk offerings. Products include a wide range of sustainably-sourced, wild-caught and farm-raised seafood products that are MSC and BAP certified, including species such as tilapia, salmon, cod, swai, haddock, snow crab, and mussels.

Labeyrie Fine Foods has been reinventing the concept of “made for sharing” for the past 70 years, to give each new generation a taste for sharing and for good products, responsibly selected and carefully prepared.  Present in more than 60 countries, and with beautiful brands such as Labeyrie, Delpierre, l’atelier Blini, l’atelier blini, Père Olive or Ovive, Labeyrie Fine Foods has the ambition to become the world leader in premium and trendy food products, responsible for sharing moments. The Group achieved a turnover of 1.1 billion euros in 2018 and has 4600 employees. At Labeyrie Fine Foods, our priority is to ensure that everyone has a safe, serene and evolving environment where everyone can express their potential. Our actions are guided daily by 4 strong values: high strandards, winning spirit, strength of teamwork and integrity.

METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 24 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and own businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years. The company operates in 36 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2017/18, METRO generated sales of €36.5 billion. In September 2018 METRO AG initiated the divestment process for the food retail chain Real with its 34,000 employees.

New England Seafood International (NESI) is a premium supplier of fresh fish, value added fish products and raw ready to eat fish to all the major UK retailers and to food service customers in the UK.  With nearly 600 employees based in manufacturing sites in Chessington, Surrey, and Grimsby, Lincolnshire, NESI is category led, and organised by core species of Tuna, Wild Salmon, Sea Bass & Sea Bream.  NESI is deeply connected to its customers and famous for its consumer-led innovation.  NESI’s values run through its business and are Respect, Customer Care, By Learning We Grow, Team Spirit and Integrity.

Orca Bay Foods LLC was formed in April 2019 upon completion of the merger between two long established Seattle seafood companies; Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc. and Odyssey Enterprises, Inc. The new company is a minority owned business controlled by the Native Alaska group Sealaska.   Owning  and operating a production facility in Seattle,  Orca Bay  processes finfish, crab, breaded and battered fish portions along with other value added seafood and vegetable  items. In addition to selling products from the Pacific Northwest we are direct importers of a variety of other species from around the globe.  Orca Bay Foods distributes internationally to club stores, retailers, broadline distributors, restaurant chains and seafood wholesalers. To learn more please visit http://orcabayseafoods.com and www.sealaska.com.

Established in 1869, Sainsbury’s is the UK’s second largest retailer with a long held commitment to responsible sourcing and in engagement in improvement within our supply chains.  Sainsbury’s acquired Argos and Habitat in September 2016, creating one of the UK’s leading retailers. We have a growing online and digital business with fast, convenient delivery capability and a store network of 600 Sainsbury’s supermarkets, over 800 convenience stores and almost 900 Argos stores in both stand-alone and supermarket locations and employ 178,000 colleagues. Sainsbury’s have been recognized as the world’s leading retailer of MSC certified seafood with around 80% of our wild caught fish carrying the MSC ecolabel and the remainder on improvement pathways and 100% of our farmed seafood is certified to a GSSI benchmarked standard.

Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 133.3 billion (US$ 4.1 billion) and a global workforce of over 47,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.  The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.   Thai Union is widely recognized for its commitment to innovation and globally responsible behavior, including being ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  Find out more at seachangesustainability.org.

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) is a non-governmental organization, based on the principles of voluntary, autonomy and equality. VASEP members include leading Vietnamese seafood producers and exporters with companies providing services in seafood sector. Based on mutual supports, the association was established on June 12th 1998 to coordinate and link enterprises operations, to improve value, quality and competitive capacity of Vietnamese seafood, to enhance source of raw material for seafood export, to represent and to protect legal interests of members. VASEP members include enterprises of all economic forms, administrative agencies and authorities in seafood exporting and processing sectors of Vietnam, accepting VASEP rules and charter, voluntarily joining the association and approved by executive committee. Most of VASEP members are prestige seafood producers and exporters, representing  80% of the total seafood exports of Vietnam; the other are service enterprises.

For 40 years, Whole Foods Market has been the world’s leading natural and organic foods retailer. As the first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market has over 500 stores in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. All food sold at the store must meet the company’s rigorous quality standards, which prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Whole Foods Market has sustainability standards for all of its fresh and frozen seafood, and all of the retailer’s farmed seafood must meet its industry-leading aquaculture standards, which include third-party on-site audits. For more information, please visit https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sustainable-seafood.

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of nearly 16,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. Our organization works to ensure that our members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. We believe that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center’s (GFTC) mission is to serve all aspects of the global food system by generating knowledge that addresses informational gaps while delivering applied research, objective advice, and practical expertise about food product traceability and data collaboration for private benefit and public good. For more information about IFT and the GFTC, please visit www.ift.org.

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. To learn more, visit www.worldwildlife.org.


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