In April 2018, the SSCI launched 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 widely 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 work on social sustainability and forced labour. 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 auditing and certification programmes. The GSSI Global Benchmark Tool currently provides guidance for seafood certification schemes on environmental sustainability.
In close collaboration, we are developing 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 the ILO Conventions and Recommendations, the UN Guiding Principles, and aligned with the CGF Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour. By joining forces, the SSCI and the GSSI have been able to have a more meaningful impact within the seafood industry by avoiding duplicative efforts, building on existing actions, and aligning market expectations towards third-party auditing and certification programmes.
Currently, the SSCI and GSSI are working through summer 2020 to review criteria concerning Aquaculture. Their jointly developed criteria for the At-Sea Operations scope was published for public consultation on 1 July 2020 and is open for feedback from the public until 31 August 2020.