SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD PROGRAM PRINCIPLES
The Sustainability Consortium held a Seafood Workshop at the Member Summit in October of 2013. From this workshop, TSC drafted principles and discussed how they will be incorporated into TSC Key Performance Indicators.
The purpose of the project was to develop principles used by TSC and the supply chain to evaluate seafood sustainability programs. “Program” refers to a wide range of sustainability efforts including rating systems, certification schemes, or assessment tools.
Sustainable Seafood Program Principles
1. Conflict of Interest
A program must have a publicly declared owner and have been developed by a third-party organization external to the financial relationship between the buyer and seller of all product covered by the program.
2. Transparency Into Methods
The methodology and metrics must be transparent and publicly available for review. This includes, for example, the methods development process, the assurance and scoring methodology, and the monitoring and evaluation methods for the program.
3. Effectiveness of Methods/Process
The methodology for the program must be scientifically-based, meaning that the methods are repeatable, adaptable to regional conditions, designed to evolve in response to emerging data, outcome oriented, and build on the most up-to-date science. Objective data, whether collected for the program requirements or to confirm compliance, must be available for analysis in order to demonstrate proven effectiveness and consistency of application over time.
4. Multi-stakeholder Input Into Methods
The methodology and processes used by the program must include a multi-stakeholder process that is publicly available for review and allows for diverse stakeholder input throughout program development and implementation. Efforts to include representatives from civil society, government, industry, and academia should be demonstrated.
5. Transparent and Multi-stakeholder Governance
The program must have a governing body made up of diverse stakeholders and have a transparent and consensus-oriented system of rules, procedures, and management for carrying out the program that is publicly available for review. Efforts to include representatives from civil society, government, industry, and academia should be demonstrated.
6. Relevant to Key Sustainability Issues
The program must clearly communicate what it seeks to address and be relevant to a particular issue that has been identified as a key environmental or social impact within the life cycle of the relevant product category.
7. Periodic Review
The program must include a known frequency of periodic third-party review of the governance, decision-making processes, methodology, and metrics, which includes a publicly available process for inviting and responding to stakeholder comment, and if appropriate, making improvements.
8. Verify Progress Towards Addressing Impacts
The program must include monitoring and evaluation programs that use publicly available performance indicators that encourage improvements in practices and demonstrate and verify progress towards addressing the key environmental or social impacts it is seeking to address.
Intended Application of the Principles