Walmart steps up certification of responsible sourcing of seafood
By Brian Collett — Walmart, which has more than 11,000 stores globally and is the world’s largest company by revenue, has announced it aims to eliminate forced and child labour and unsafe working conditions from its supply chain by using certification schemes.
The company has chosen a system of third-party specialists to audit social compliance among its suppliers in order to simplify its responsible sourcing programme.
Walmart, which owns the 631 stores run by Asda, the UK’s third largest supermarket group by turnover, has adopted the Best Aquaculture Practices scheme to monitor the suppliers of its seafood.
The scheme is provided by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the US-based responsible practice NGO.
Wally Stevens, the alliance’s executive director, said: “We appreciate the trust and confidence that Walmart has with the worker protection elements required of … facilities [certified by the scheme], and we will continue to work diligently with our certification bodies and trained auditors to measure up to the expectations of Walmart and ourselves.”
Alliance president George Chamberlain said: “Social accountability is a fundamental pillar of responsible aquaculture, and the alliance is proud to be uniquely recognised within the seafood certification arena for developing such credible and comprehensive standards.”
Earlier this year, the company gave a start to its new policy by ordering all its Walmart and Sam’s Club outlets in North America and Brazil to source fresh, frozen, farmed and wild seafood supplies from fisheries that are third party-certified as sustainable.
The certifying bodies picked by Walmart were the Alliance, the Marine Stewardship Council, the UK-based international sustainability NGO, and others that follow the guidelines of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation or are recognised by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, the industry’s umbrella body for ethical practice.