PARIS, 10 June 2021 — The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) has received a benchmarking application from the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS), the programme’s first step in earning SSCI recognition as meeting industry expectations for third-party social compliance programmes under the SSCI’s At-Sea Operations scope. RVFS is the first scheme to apply under this new scope, which was launched in May 2021. The SSCI is committed to building trust in sustainability standards by recognising programmes that respect key sustainability criteria, as defined by leading industry stakeholders, in their evaluation methods.
In 2018, Global Seafood Assurances and the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) announced a memorandum of understanding to work together to create the next version of the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), committing to expand its global applicability, which resulted in the creation of the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard. Now part of the Global Seafood Alliance, GSA took ownership of the standards last year. The first RFVS-certified vessel was announced in Australia in January, and the second set of RFVS-certified vessels was announced in the United Kingdom in April. The standard addresses social responsibility, including working conditions and worker voice, about fishing vessels.
Melanie Siggs, Director of Strategic Engagement for the Global Seafood Alliance, said, “Benchmarking is a critical part of seafood certification now, helping determine which standards meet the highest quality criteria for development, governance, certification and transparency. We’ve encouraged the rigorous process SSCI has undertaken to create this At-Sea Operations benchmark. As such we were keen to submit our application as quickly as possible to get things underway.”
The SSCI Benchmark is a comprehensive process that recognises which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The process revolves around a first self-assessment undertaken by the scheme, followed by a review by an independent expert, office visits, and a public consultation. The methodology also includes opportunities for the applicant to take corrective actions if and when needed.
The SSCI Benchmark is based on the SSCI Social and Scheme Management Criteria, which cover the industry’s expectations for sustainability and were defined by the SSCI Coalition member companies, industry experts, and other stakeholders. Following the launch of the SSCI’s Manufacturing and Processing scope in 2019, the SSCI opened the SSCI Benchmark to the agriculture, aquaculture, and seafood sectors with the publication of Social and Scheme Management Criteria adapted for its new Primary Production and At-Sea Operations scopes. This work was developed in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
At the SSCI, we welcome this positive step from RFVS and look forward to reviewing its alignment towards industry values on transparency, social responsibility and sustainability. To monitor the process of its evaluation, and other schemes undergoing the benchmarking, visit www.recognition.tcgfssci.com.
Learn More and Apply
Third-party auditing and monitoring schemes and programmes are invited to apply for SSCI recognition and demonstrate their commitment to industry-defined expectations for social responsibility. Learn more about the SSCI Benchmark and download the application kits at benchmark.tcgfssci.com.
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About The Consumer Goods Forum
The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
Thomas van Haaren
Senior Manager, SSCI