2019, a year of great progress for GSSI
In 2013, when we launched GSSI, the idea was simple: to develop a global benchmark to provide clarity and ensure confidence in certified seafood. After almost seven years we can proudly conclude the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool has become the norm within the seafood industry, with nine international seafood certification schemes formally recognized by GSSI in 2019.
At the same time, GSSI’s Global Partnership has grown into a unique precompetitive platform with representatives from across the full seafood value chain, NGO’s and the FAO, bringing together regional and international expertise from different backgrounds. In 2019 GSSI’s Global Partnership continued to grow and expand its reach into new countries, with 17 Partners joining.
2019 was a year of great progress for GSSI and represents the next step in GSSI’s journey towards more sustainable seafood for everyone. Building on the success of our Global Benchmark Tool, our Partners now have the ability to drive forward broader seafood sustainability challenges, including social responsibility and seafood sustainable development pathways for emerging markets and small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.
In May 2019, we brought together our Partners in The Netherlands for the first bi-annual GSSI Partners Meeting. Thirty partner organizations joined us to review GSSI’s strategy, provide input on GSSI’s different programs and to help define GSSI’s priorities. We launched the first review process of our Global Benchmark Tool; finalized a workplan for our collaboration with the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) to develop a seafood-specific social benchmark tool; and entered a partnership with IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to deliver the Seafood MAP proof-of-concept in 2020, after a three-year scoping phase. To support all of this important work, the GSSI Secretariat expended its capacity to a team of six.
In 2019 GSSI was invited to speak at various high-level events, including China, Ecuador, Japan, Spain and the US, further strengthening our global recognition. On the invitation of FAO, GSSI organized a two-day expert consultative workshop on the sustainability challenges of non-certified seafood at FAO headquarters in Rome. More than 30 experts from around the world participated and the outcomes provided key inputs for GSSI’s Seafood MAP program. Financial support from FAO, IDH, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to GSSI’s different work programs is a further affirmation of the relevance of GSSI’s Global Partnership worldwide.
The GSSI Team is honored to support the GSSI Partnership in its important work and is looking forward to continuing to advance the global sustainable seafood agenda together and realize our vision: more sustainable seafood for everyone.