GSSI’s Affiliated Partners: Unique and Vital Perspectives within the GSSI Partnership

by | Jun 3, 2021

GSSI’s Partnership of 90+ organizations and companies proudly and effectively collaborate to lead the seafood sector in striving for clarity, confidence and choice in seafood sustainability. While GSSI’s 75 Funding Partners of for-profit companies and trade associations has grown exponentially over GSSI’s eight-year existence, GSSI’s Affiliated Partnership of public and non-profit organizations has also expanded. GSSI currently has 17 Affiliated Partners lending their distinctive expertise and support to GSSI’s work, creating GSSI’s holistic and well-represented public-private partnership initiative.

Spanning North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, GSSI’s Affiliated Partners are from the public sector, including non-profits, non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations, and social enterprises. Just like any and all GSSI Partners, Affiliated Partners have a “major interest in improving the sustainability of the seafood sector, as well as a commitment to actively support GSSI,” as stipulated in the GSSI Charter. Affiliated Partners come to the GSSI Partnership to collaborate and add value to GSSI’s strategic direction, bringing expertise and resources to GSSI’s particular work streams: environmental certification, social responsibility, and resilience of seafood supply.

In the recent months, GSSI has welcomed four new Affiliated Partners:

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • China Blue Sustainability Institute
  • Global Tuna Alliance

They join:

  • CeDePesca
  • Ethic Ocean
  • FAO – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • GIZ – the German federal enterprise working in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development
  • IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • New England Aquarium
  • Ocean Outcomes
  • Seafish
  • Seafood Legacy
  • Thunen Institute
  • WWF

Just like Funding Partners, Affiliated Partners participate in GSSI’s Expert Working Groups and Partner Taskforces within GSSI’s work programs, providing advice and expertise for the development of sustainability solutions for the seafood sector. For example, the creation and revision of GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool required several Expert Working Groups of GSSI Partners, of which Affiliated Partners provided valuable perspective from their particular line of work. Specifically, during the revision process for GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool Version 2, FAO, CAPPMA, SeaFish, New England Aquarium and Monterey Bay were part of the Expert Working Groups revising the Framework. Another vital role of GSSI Partners is their participation in the benchmarking process as Benchmark Committee Members. The Benchmark Committees provide quality assurance by reviewing the work performed by the Independent Experts on the certification programs during the desktop reviews and offices visits. Affiliated Partners are also eligible to volunteer for the Benchmark Committees. In addition, Affiliated Partners have the option to co-finance GSSI projects, such as IDH co-funding GSSI’s joint development project with the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) to create seafood primary production-specific social criteria for SSCI’s social responsibility benchmark. At the pinnacle of GSSI involvement is the GSSI Steering Board, and Affiliated Partners are eligible to sit on the Steering Board along with GSSI Funding Partners.

While the GSSI Partnership is comprised of a majority of businesses, the differing vantage point of the public and non-profit sectors round out the work of GSSI and support the creation of solutions that are globally adoptable. Tackling and advancing seafood sustainability is a complex job, one with constantly moving targets, new scientific knowledge and of increasing critical importance for the health and well-being of the planet and humankind. On one pre-competitive and inclusive platform, GSSI brings together actors throughout the supply chain, non-profit, governmental, intergovernmental and NGO space so that we may collectively devise seafood sustainability solutions that foster global acceptability and nurture local applicability. The outcomes of GSSI’s collective work provide clarity, confidence, and choice in an ever-evolving sustainability landscape thanks to the myriad of organizations and companies that share their voice within our platform.

If your organization in the public sector feels we could strategically collaborate together to further GSSI’s goals for global sustainable seafood solutions, reach out and let’s have a conversation. With worthy yet huge challenges ahead, coming together from all corners of the planet with our own unique perspectives will propel us all forward as we strive for a common mission of more sustainable seafood for everyone.