On February 1, seafood suppliers and NGOs gathered at Walmart Inc.’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart was holding an inaugural seafood sustainably summit – an event to celebrate the great work Walmart has done in seafood sustainability, and prepare for the challenges ahead.
North Atlantic was invited to the summit to receive an award for our sustainability efforts. The award marks recognition of our fishery improvement project (FIP) work in Indonesia as well us becoming the first U.S. supplier to join the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP).
The ODP is a relatively new platform created in 2015 by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). It was started with the intention to increase transparency in the supply chain by asking companies to voluntarily divulge sourcing information on a common platform.
It’s a free platform open to any business that sources wild-caught seafood, and we are proud to be not only the first U.S. supplier to join, but also the first supplier to Walmart to do so. We are thrilled to have our hard work recognized, especially by such a worldwide retail force–demonstrating that even a small company can have an outsized impact.
The summit brought together nearly 75 suppliers, in addition to NGO representatives from organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI). Walmart representatives spoke candidly about their goals and progress in sustainable seafood, as well as where gaps exist in efforts and where they want to focus moving forward.
Bill Stride, our CEO, and Chris Bowker, our Inside Sales Manager, received the award on NAI’s behalf (see them pictured above!). Both have been integral to building awareness of North Atlantic’s sustainability story in North America, working with our NGO partner FishWise to stay on top of developing issues and engagement opportunities in the seafood space.
We applaud Walmart for organizing and publicizing the summit, which symbolizes the critical importance of supply chain engagement for sustainability success. We hope this becomes an annual event that continues to expand its reach and attendance, and that our example can inspire our fellow industry members toward further sustainability action.