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as quickly as possible. Wild seafood suppliers were also instructed to begin working with the
WWF and a group of other experts to identify those fisheries that were potential candidates for
certification, but might first need to adjust processes or practices. The WWF could help fisheries
and processors prepare to enter the certification process. “In these cases,” said Scott Burns,
director of the WWF marine conservation program, “we’re doing evaluations ... against a set of Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy (A) OIT-71A p. 11 sustainability indicators and identifying the specific things that need to be fixed [including
strengthening management practices, rebuilding stocks, and reducing environmental impacts]
before they can be certified by the MSC. What Walmart has told its suppliers is that, as long as
they see reasonable and measurable progress in correcting problems, they will continue to work
with those fisheries. But if they don't, they will eventually consider re-sourcing.”
There was a third group of fisheriesmany in countries such as Russia with no effective
government regulation of fishingthat would require long-term, severe restrictions in the catch
to become sustainable. Given the volume of Walmart’s demand, the company remained
dependent on fish from these areas, at least in the near-term, to adequately supply its customers.
Fish from these areas was approximately 20 cents per pound less expensive than MSC-certified
Consolidation in the Chain of Custody
One of the immediate benefits realized through the certification initiative was greater
transparency in the seafood supply chain. Fitzpatrick explained: “As a fish moves from the
certified fishery through the supply chain to get to the consumer, it has to go through various
hands. The MSC requires a chain of custody to guarantee that the fish is coming from a certified
source.” This was important because sustainably caught fish was virtually indistinguishable
from the rest. For example, certified salmon from Alaska appeared identical to cheaper,
uncertified salmon from Russia, which created a temptation for suppliers to cheat. Redmond
elaborated on the advantages of bette...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2014 for the course LGST 210 taught by Professor Sep during the Winter '10 term at UPenn.
- Winter '10