PARIS and HAARLEM, The Netherlands, 17th May 2018 – At last month’s Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) announced their collaboration to provide a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes in the seafood sector.

The CGF Social Sustainability Committee selected the seafood sector as one of the priority supply chains for their social sustainability workstream. Correspondingly, the GSSI Steering Board identified social compliance as a key priority area for the seafood sector.

GSSI and SSCI will have a more meaningful impact within the industry by joining forces, avoiding duplication by building on existing efforts and aligning market expectations towards third-party auditing and certification programmes. Similar to GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool, the SSCI Benchmark will allow the industry to have access to a list of credible, robust auditing and certification programmes. In close collaboration, the two organisations will develop a social compliance benchmark that takes into account the specificities of the seafood sector and the special nature of work in food harvesting, will be underpinned by ILO Conventions and Recommendations and UN Guiding Principles, and is aligned with the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour.

Herman Wisse, Managing Director, GSSI said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the CGF’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative on such an important initiative for the industry. Addressing social compliance has long been on the horizon for GSSI and to do this now with the CGF will deliver great value to the seafood industry. Utilizing GSSI’s global partnership to support the development of the SSCI Benchmark Tool for social compliance schemes brings us one step closer to our vision of more sustainable seafood for everyone.”

Hugo Byrnes, Vice President Product Integrity, Ahold Delhaize said, “We are proud today to announce the collaboration between the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Together, we will support the industry in their efforts to tackle social compliance issues in the seafood sector in a harmonised manner. We will build on the experience and the stakeholder network of both organisations to drive this collaboration forward over the coming months.” 

Dr. Darian McBain, Global Director of Sustainability, Thai Union said, “The collaboration between the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative to develop a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes represents an extremely positive step forward for the seafood industry. The development of this benchmark will help safeguard the well-being of the 56 million people directly employed in fisheries and aquaculture.”

This cross-industry collaboration will bring together a broad representation of members of the aquculture and wild harvest sectors, primary processors, retailers, manufacturers and relevant stakeholders to provide a unique opportunity for market alignment and harmonisation of efforts. Stakeholder engagement with the seafood sector will be crucial throughout the process. In the coming months, GSSI and SSCI will be holding a joint webinar to provide an update and overview of next steps to all GSSI Partners, the CGF members and all interested parties.

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The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) promotes good social and environmental practices in global supply chains by benchmarking third-party auditing and certification schemes and recognising robust schemes. By providing an open source list of recognised schemes, the SSCI delivers clear guidance on which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply robust verification practices. The SSCI improves transparency in the market, facilitates decision-making on schemes at both buyer and supplier level and helps to reduce audit duplication. The Initiative will initially focus on social compliance with a view to expanding the scope to environmental compliance. The SSCI is facilitated by The Consumer Goods Forum. For more information, visit


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 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit:


The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) is a global platform and partnership of seafood companies, NGOs, experts, governmental and intergovernmental organizations working towards more sustainable seafood for everyone. GSSI’s mission is to ensure confidence in the supply and promotion of certified seafood, as well as, to promote improvement in seafood certification schemes. This is achieved through GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool, underpinned by the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other FAO guidelines. The Global Benchmark Tool provides clarity on, and transparency in, seafood certification by recognizing robust and credible certification schemes, and supporting them in identifying areas for improvement. The Benchmark Process is open to all certification schemes. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:

Louise Chester
Communications Officer, The Consumer Goods Forum
+33 1 82 00 95 91

Nina van Ewijk
Communications Manager, GSSI
+31 6 42 19 52 70