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GRI Seafood Workshops

New Responsibility Guidelines to Engage Leaders in the Seafood Industry

European seafood marketNew Responsibility Guidelines to Engage Leaders in the Seafood Industry

In January 2008, Seafood Choices Alliance and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced a two-year project partnership to ensure that guidelines on sustainability reporting for the food processing sector will address the unique needs of the global seafood processing sector (worth some US$180bn worldwide).

New! The new GRI food processing sustainability reporting guidelines were officially launched at the Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency in Amsterdam in May 2010. The guideline are now available for downloading free of charge. Click here to access the guidelines

Scroll down to learn more about the workshops, or follow the links below to learn how to participate, view the schedule, or contact the project manager.

The aim of the GRI Seafood Workshops is to enable companies and stakeholders to better measure and communicate progress on sustainability (i.e. economic, environmental and social performance). This is based on the principle that good measurement supports good management and is a prerequisite for good communication.

"We are honored to be partnering with the GRI, on this important initiative," says Melanie Siggs, Seafood Choices Alliance director. "This project will ensure the delivery of a global tool to support positive responsible management in the seafood processing sector. It will help celebrate the leaders of best practice, guide those beginning that journey and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable seafood industry. And that’s got to be good news for our oceans."

About the GRI Seafood Workshops

A two-year project partnership has been initiated between Seafood Choices Alliance and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to ensure that sustainability reporting guidance for the Food Processing Sector will address the unique needs of the international seafood processing sector (approximate sector value of US$180bn worldwide).

The project was initiated at the Seafood Choices Alliance Roundtable in Brussels, April 2007, in response to demands for a harmonized set of guidelines. GRI had already taken steps towards the development of a Food Processing Sector Supplement to its existing Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which will be developed with input from companies such as Nestle, General Mills, Danisco and Young’s Seafood (FoodVest Group) as well as WWF, IUCN and the World Fair Trade Association. Examples of other GRI Sector Supplements available or in development are Automobile, Footwear & Apparel, and Mining & Metal Sectors.

An agreement between GRI and Seafood Choices has now been formalized and together we will create a series of global GRI Seafood Workshops to run alongside the GRI Food Processing Sector Supplement Working Group. Stakeholders of the seafood processing industry will explore and feedback on the indicators under development with specific reference to their own industry needs. The indicators developed may be a modification of a current GRI Indicator or a creation of a new indicator.

The Foodvest Group (Young’s Seafood and Findus) has seconded Anna Roslund to Seafood Choices Alliance to lead the project. Anna - a key initiator and developer of the project – will work on a part-time basis with Seafood Choices, to facilitate workshops and work with the Food Processing Sector Supplement Working Group on the outcomes.

Workshops are open for all seafood industry stakeholders and will be held during 2008 and 2009 in regions around the world (see How to Participate in GRI Seafood Workshops).

All workshop participants will have the opportunity to test the pilot version during 2009.

The work of the Food Sector Supplement Working Group will be open for public commenting in August - September 2008 and October – December 2009.

The finished GRI Food Sector Supplement will be publicly available in March 2010.

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About the Global Reporting Initiative

griGlobal Reporting Initiative is a non-profit worldwide, multi-stakeholder network. GRI’s vision is that reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations becomes as routine and comparable as financial reporting. GRI accomplishes its vision by continually developing, improving, and building capacity around the use of its Sustainability Reporting Framework. A network of tens of thousands of individuals from over 60 countries worldwide coming from business, civil society, labor, and professional institutions governs the organization and creates the content of the Reporting Framework through a consensus-seeking process. This network is open to those who wish to use the Reporting Framework, access information in GRI-based reports, or contribute to the GRI mission in other ways, both formal and informal. The GRI framework is the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world.

GRI Sector Supplements capture the unique set of sustainability issues faced by different sectors such as mining, automotive, banking, public agencies and the telecommunications industry. Sector specific reporting indicators are developed by a multi-stakeholder working group of 18-20 individuals over a two year process. The working group consists of 50% sector and 50% non-sector stakeholders (e.g. fair-trade, labor, social and environmental, and health organizations) and the participants reflect a range of constituencies, expertise, and global geographic regions. The public are given two opportunities to provide feedback on the draft versions of the Sector Supplement drafts before the guidance is finalized.

The Food Processing Sector Supplement is currently being developed. Like all Sector Supplements, it will be designed for use in conjunction with the Guidelines.

To download the G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines click here.

"I am convinced that the seafood industry will benefit from the GRI sector specific sustainability reporting guidelines and greatly welcome the support of the Seafood Choices Alliance," says Maaike Fleur, sector supplement manager at GRI.

For more information about GRI, contact Maaike Fleur or visit www.globalreporting.org.

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Latest Project News

The workshops held in Sydney, Chicago and London in 2008 and 2009 gathered some 70 delegates from the seafood processing industry, retailers, food industry associations, experts, NGOs, SRI sector and other stakeholders to discuss sustainability reporting as part of the global consultation process of the GRI Food Processing Sector Supplement in development for launch in May 2010.

Many of the comments raised by the seafood stakeholders were successfully addressed in the GRI development process such as:

  • Biodiversity
  • Traceability
  • Wild caught and farmed sourcing
  • Animal welfare
  • Recognized sourcing standards

New! The new GRI food processing sustainability reporting guidelines were officially launched at the Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency in Amsterdam in May 2010. The guideline are now available for downloading free of charge. Click here to access the guidelines.

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Reporting News


  • Legislation requiring Denmark's 1000 largest companies to report on corporate responsibility in annual business reviews came into force last month. Affected businesses must report publicly on social responsibility policies, on any systems and procedures for implementing them, and what they have achieved as a result. Reports can be part of a management review
    or annual report, or may appear on the company's website.
    (Ethical Performance, Vol 10, Issue 9, Feb 2009)
  • Sweden issued binding guidelines which came into force in 2009. Click here to learn more.


  • Indian Government Issues Voluntary Guidelines for Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility. The CSR guidelines state that the CSR initiatives of Indian companies should become integral parts of overall business policy and aligned with business goals. The guidelines set out six core elements for companies to address.In order to facilitate implementation of the CSR guidelines, "companies should disseminate information on CSR policy, activities and progress in a structured manner to all their stakeholders and the public at large through their website, annual reports, and other communication media," according to the report. The need for improved CSR performance was documented in a 2009 report from Karmayog a Mumbai-based online organization, which found that while 51% of Indian companies practice CSR in some form, only 2% publish a separate sustainability report, and only 3% report the amount they spent on CSR. Click here to read full article (Source: SocialFunds.com, 5 January 2010, as quoted by World Business Council for Sustainable Development Business and Sustainable Development News, 7 January 2010)
  • Listed companies in Taiwan could soon be required to make annual public disclosures on corporate responsibility. The country’s Financial Supervisory Commission is reviewing its listing rules and has indicated it will introduce a mandatory requirement on certain companies to publish details of their CSR policies and programmes. Around 700 businesses are listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
    (Ethical Performance, Vol 10, Issue 9, Feb 2009)
  • China's state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) released a directive on January 4, 2008 strongly encouraging state-owned enterprises to follow sound CSR practices and report on CSR activities. While this directive is not binding, SASAC holds a lot of influence in the business comnmunity and such a directive demonstrates serious committment to corporate social responsibility.


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