Transparency in supply chains

Voluntary disclosure of sustainability performance is a powerful tool for driving change in global supply chains. Across sectors, there has been a shift towards increased transparency, with businesses more readily reporting environmental and social performance. This transparency increases accountability within supply chains, providing businesses with an additional incentive to achieve their goals and allows improved oversight of business practices by investors, consumers and the wider sustainability community. Sector-specific initiatives such as the CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) have led the way in this regard and we look to replicate this for the seafood sector.

Growing the ODP

The ODP promotes transparency in wild caught seafood through encouraging companies to identify the fisheries where they source products alongside information on the environmental performance of each fishery. The ODP therefore represents a pioneering commitment to supply chain transparency for companies sourcing from the world’s wild fisheries.

The ODP was launched in 2015 by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, a US-registered non-profit that works directly with the seafood industry to deliver sustainable seafood. The project started with the support and participation of five companies: UK retailers, Asda (the first company to report via the ODP), Morrisons, and The Co-operative Food; and aquaculture feed producers, Biomar and Skretting. The ODP has continued to expand, with Publix, the first US-based participant, joining in 2017 and the delivery of company profiles has shifted from PDFs to a new online format.

The ODP is planned to grow over the next few years through active promotion to potential participants in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The format will also expand; it is intended to include more information on corporate commitments to sustainable seafood sourcing in the future as well as information on traceability systems. Work on implementing these developments is already underway.

How we work

Participation in the ODP is free and is open to all businesses that source wild-caught seafood. Companies are simply invited to submit a list of the fisheries that are used for sourcing and there is no requirement to provide data that may be commercially confidential. This list is intended to cover all main wild-caught species sourced during the reporting period but some businesses may choose to represent a particular business segment such as fresh or frozen seafood only. In some cases, seafood products sold in small volumes or sourced as test products only may not be included in a profile.

Once the list of fisheries has been received, we use information held on the public FishSource database to identify the nationality of the fishery or fleet, the type of fishing gear and the presence of ecolabel certifications or fishery improvement projects (FIPs). We also determine whether a fishery is ‘well managed’, ‘managed’ or ‘needs improvement’ using scores from the FishSource database and provide some notes on the environmental impact of the fishery based on examining relevant information regarding bycatch (non-target species caught by accident), the impact on protected, endangered and threatened (PET) species, and the impact on the seabed.

The ODP website acts as a common platform through which this information can then be shared, providing valuable information to responsible investors, other seafood businesses, sustainable seafood and CSR professionals, and seafood consumers.

What others say about the ODP

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“Understanding the sustainability of raw materials is essential to the responsible investment community. The Ocean Disclosure Project allows investors to understand the sustainability performance of individual companies regarding seafood as well as supporting high quality dialogues that can lead to real positive change in the way we manage the oceans."

Why become a participant?

Participating in the ODP will first and foremost enable you to:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to transparency and responsible sourcing of seafood.
  • Communicate your good practices to customers, investors, and supply chain partners.
  • Show leadership and support global progress towards a more transparent seafood industry.
  • Facilitate collaboration with other industry members in promoting responsible fishing practices.

Furthermore, the ODP enables seafood companies to:

  • Capture sustainability information on your seafood supply chain.
  • Use this information to help you evaluate your current position regarding sustainable procurement and compare your performance against other companies.
  • Better understand and manage environmental risks in your supply chain, set responsible sourcing targets and measure your impact.
  • Push for improvements in fishery management.

If you would like to discuss any of the above or learn more about how you can engage with the ODP we invite you to contact us at:

tania.woodcock@sustainablefish.org

For media communications please contact us at:

blake.lee-harwood@sustainablefish.org

Acknowledgements

The Ocean Disclosure Project is grateful for the generous support of the

John Ellerman Foundation.

Image credits

Homepage banner image: by Joi Ito

About Us banner image: by TheAnimalDay.org

How It Works banner image: by Joanna Penn