In May 2018, the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative announced its collaboration with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) to provide a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance in the seafood sector. Seafood is one of the most-traded foods in the world, with the sector employing at least 260 million workers globally. Following reports of serious human rights abuses, social sustainability has become a key area of concern for the seafood sector. At the CGF, we selected this sector as one of the priority supply chains for our social sustainability workstream. Correspondingly, the GSSI Steering Board identified social compliance as a key priority area for the sector.
The GSSI and SSCI benchmark tools have the same value proposition: providing the industry with access to a list of credible and robust auditing and certification programmes. The GSSI Global Benchmark Tool currently provides guidance on seafood certification schemes for environmental sustainability. In close collaboration, we will develop a social compliance benchmark tool that takes into account the specificities of the seafood sector and the special nature of work in food harvesting, underpinned by ILO Conventions and Recommendations, the UN Guiding Principles, and aligned with the CGF Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour. By joining forces, GSSI and SSCI are able to have a more meaningful impact within the industry, avoiding duplication by building on existing efforts and aligning market expectations towards third-party auditing and certification programmes.