Investing today for seafood tomorrow.
At Atlantic Fish we believe that sustainability and the future of the seafood industry are one and the same. We were among the first commercial seafood proponents of applying sustainability standards in order to protect and maintain the global seafood supply.
AFS Puts Words into Action on Behalf of Responsible Sourcing
As social and environmental sustainability began to gain awareness and momentum in the mid- to late 1990’s, Atlantic Fish & Seafood had already recognized our responsibility to our industry’s future.
Since then, we have backed up our commitment to ensuring a safe and plentiful supply of shrimp and finfish by significantly investing in a number of sustainability initiatives. Sometimes on our own, often in partnership with NGO’s, we put boots on the ground, and even waders in the water, to develop a reliable and consistent seafood supply chain that stretches from tiny, remote shrimp farms and local processing facilities in Asia, all the way across the world’s oceans, to the frozen seafood cases in America’s supermarkets and the menus of many popular restaurants.
Providing Small-Scale Shrimp Farmers with a Clear Path to the World’s Seafood Market
Atlantic Fish & Seafood sources shrimp directly from thousands of aquaculture farms located in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and South America. We also have partnerships with more than 50 BAP-certified processing plants spanning six countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Working collaboratively with both the farmers and the processors allows us to control the integrity of our product from before it is hatched through harvest and processing. It also enables us to keep our commitments to our customers and deliver 100% as expected on every order — even if there is a disruption in the overall seafood supply chain. Our alliance with these smaller suppliers gives them access to the global market they otherwise would not have.
However, they must first meet our sustainability requirements as well as those of our customers by bringing their farming and processing into compliance with the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards established by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA). We believe it is part of our responsibility (and in our best interests) as a global steward of the industry to help them. Since 2004, we have hosted more than 100 hours of responsible shrimp aquaculture seminars in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. More recently and in collaboration with the GAA and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, AFS began piloting the industry’s first Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs). The program provides technical assistance on seed stock, feed, harvesting, water and effluent management, and traceability compliance as well as financial support to groups of small farmers seeking BAP certification. The pilot program includes four groups: two in India, one in Vietnam and one in Indonesia. The initiative is expected to bring an additional 5 million pounds of two-, three- and four-star BAP certified shrimp to market.
Pioneering Network Integration:The Seafood Distribution Model for the Future
The seafood industry relies heavily on a vertical integration model for sourcing sustainable product. Distributors buy the farms and processors and vertically integrate them into their supply chains in order to control the safety and integrity of the product from before inception right to the customers’ loading docks. Because outright purchase and maintenance costs are so high, the owning entity is limited in how many farms and processors it can integrate.
This limitation, in turn, automatically caps the amount of product that goes into the distributor’s pipeline. AFS is pioneering a Network Integration model that allows us to own the product but not the farms and processors. This gives us the ability to partner with many more small-scale suppliers and ensures that we have enough safe, high-quality product that meets our standards — even when the overall supply chain is disrupted. It also helps us maintain price predictability and stability.
Taking a Stand on Social and Ethical Responsibility
As a significant corporate participant in the world seafood market, we know that our business provides jobs for workers in economically emerging countries. Every one of our suppliers must adhere to our social responsibility policy that requires them to comply with all national governmental workforce and human rights laws and regulations. This proactively ensures that we do not inadvertently conduct business with any unscrupulous providers such as the Thai shrimp peeling houses exposed for deplorable working conditions.
Practicing What we Preach at Every Level of the Organization.
As a global advocate of socially and economically sourced seafood, Atlantic Fish & Seafood is keenly aware of our responsibility to set a leadership example for the industry. We only source our seafood from sustainable fisheries. In addition, 93% of our tilapia comes from BAP certified suppliers and we have committed to selling only 3- or 4- star BAP certified shrimp.