Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) Launched with Commitment to Sustainable
Group representing 70% of the global farmed salmon industry announces
commitment to sustainability leadership initiative as a path towards
TRONDHEIM, Norway -- August 14, 2013
CEOs of the global farmed salmon industry today launched a major industry-led
sustainability initiative. The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) unites 15 global
farmed salmon producers committed to greater industry cooperation and
transparency, in order to achieve significant and continuous progress in
industry sustainability. The initiative aims to make significant strides in
providing a sustainable source of protein (farmed salmon) to feed a growing
With a shared ambition of improving industry performance across three pillars
of sustainability: reducing environmental impact, increasing social
contribution and maintaining economic growth. GSI today announced that they
are focusing on areas where they can make ambitious, yet achievable,
improvements, within a realistic timeframe.
“As an industry, we recognize that while we have made significant progress,
there is still a lot to be done in terms of sustainability. As a relatively
young industry, we hope that through industry collaboration, research and
sharing of knowledge, we can make the necessary changes to do better, and keep
getting better” said GSI co-chair Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest.
Keen to make substantial improvements, GSI is concentrating their efforts on
three priority areas facing the industry: biosecurity, feed sourcing and
meeting industry standards.
José Ramón Gutíerrez, co-chair of GSI and Executive Director of Multiexport
Foods SA, commented “each of our focus areas are critical and integral to the
success of our industry, and with commitment across regions to work together
for the first time, we have the opportunity for real and beneficial change”.
The members of GSI are committed to significant improvements in the
sustainability of their operations. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
standard for salmon aquaculture provides a framework to guide and report on
the progress GSI is making, and the initiative is adopting the ASC framework
as its primary reference point for work and progress. It is recognized that
while salmon farmers have already been making progress toward greater
sustainability, and have met the requirements of other demanding standards,
they acknowledge that more needs to be done.
"This is a game-changer. The salmon sector working together and embracing
sustainability is going to radically change aquaculture – and affect the food
industry in a big way,” said Dr Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Market
Transformation for World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
WWF launched the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues nine years ago, the outcome of
which was the ASC standard. “This commitment shows that these companies see
sustainability as a pre-competitive issue, one that they can work on together
to make progress more quickly,” Clay added.
GSI is committed to working closely with industry partners to ensure it is
making significant change in areas affecting the whole of the industry, and is
not merely satisfying the status quo. Keen on improving sustainability across
the aquaculture industry, GSI has also formed an alliance with the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Both parties share a
goal of supporting the expansion of sustainable aquaculture as a source of
high quality food source for a growing global population.
“Through the GSI and FAO partnership, there is the potential to improve access
and the exchange of information and expertise to support global improvements
in environmental and social performance across the industry” said Árni
Mathiesen, Assistant Director General, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture. “GSI
provides an opportunity to seriously address sustainability challenges as a
commodity subsector and this could provide lessons on how a sustainable
industry can be created and maintained, and we hope that we can transfer this
experience to developing nations, in support of the expansion of their
sustainable aquaculture industry, to provide greater sources of nutritious and
As the first initiative of its kind, GSI hopes to maximize their cooperation
and resources to ignite improvements which would otherwise be unachievable if
ABOUT THE GSI
The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established by
global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on
industry sustainability. GSI is committed to fully realizing a shared goal of
providing a highly sustainable source of healthy food to feed a growing global
population, whilst minimizing our environmental footprint, and continuing to
improve our social contribution.
GSI member companies include Acuinova Chile; Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq;
Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood; Lerøy Seafood
Group; Los Fiordos; Marine Harvest; Norway Royal Salmon; SalMar; Multiexport
Foods SA; The Scottish Salmon Company; Scottish Sea Farms. GSI companies have
presence in Chile, Canada, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Scotland, and make
significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.
Further information may be received by contacting the GSI secretariat, AXON,
at GSI@axon-com.com or by visiting www.globalsalmoninitative.org. Follow us on
ASC is the acronym for Aquaculture Stewardship Council, an independent
not-for-profit organization. The ASC was founded in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch
Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage the global standards for responsible
aquaculture, which are developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues, a program of
roundtables initiated and coordinated by WWF. The ASC aims to be the world's
leading certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The
ASC is a global organization working with aquaculture producers, seafood
processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups
and the public to promote the best environmental and social choice in seafood.
The ASC's aquaculture certification program and seafood label recognizes and
rewards responsible aquaculture.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is a
specialized agency of the United Nations systems, established in 1945 to
improve food security, raise levels of nutrition and standards of living for
all people in FAO member countries. The organization seeks to secure
improvements in the efficiency of production and distribution of food and
agricultural products, and to contribute toward an expanding world economy and
ensure humanity’s freedom from hunger.
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