We kicked off day two of the SFP Target 75 Forum with a keynote from Keith Kenney (McDonald’s) and Jim Cannon (SFP). As the Vice President of Sustainability for McDonald's, Kenney knows a thing or two about sustainable sourcing. Did you know that every day McDonald’s feeds 1% of the global population? That’s an amazing figure. Beyond the Fillet of Fish (which is made from MSC Certified Alaska pollock) Kenney works with suppliers around the world to purchase coffee, poultry, palm oil beef, eggs, paper, and more from sustainable sources. Key to securing affordable, consistent sources of major commodities is a lot of collaboration – a term we’d hear a lot over the course of the day.

In fact, the subtitle of the keynote was “scaling pre-competitive collaborations into a global effort to achieve Target 75 and advance UN SDG 14”, and both Kenney and Cannon encouraged the room to look for ways we can work together.   

After hearing from Kenney about McDonald’s Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Committee, Cannon asked the room if any of us had a sustainability committee within our own companies – and it was pretty quiet… I think quite a few of us were inspired to head back to our offices and start looking at ways we could collaborate internally – I know I did. Stay tuned!

Our first panel of the day was Scaling-Up Improvement Efforts: National Policy Approach – How national-level improvement efforts can more efficiently and effectively advance sustainability in fisheries in Mexico and Indonesia, and aquaculture in Asia.  We heard from Andre Brugger (Netuno), Pablo Cueva (UNDP Ecuador), Julian Portilla (Impacto Colectivo) about ways that we can take the focus from individual FIPS and make it wider.  A local or regional project can address specific problems, but without management and enforcement on a national level, it’s hard to scale up, but it’s necessary for long term success.

 Also on the topic of scaling up – our next panel looked at how multinational industry groups, coastal states, and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) can accelerate the improvement of important species like tuna, squid, and mahi.  

Guy Pizutti (Publix Super Markets) stressed the idea that it’s not enough to just clean up our own supply chain, but that we need to understand what the rest of the world is working on. He encouraged us to keep pushing for global improvements, and to not lose sight of the big picture – keep engaging!

Before heading into lunch, we were introduced to some developments in global aquaculture production and looked at SFP’s Sustainable Aquaculture Framework. We heard about how NGO’s are working together around Target 75 sectors to help advance change globally – lots of exciting work happening around the world!

As the afternoon wore on, a shot of coffee and an upbeat, interesting presentation from Wakao Hanaoka (Seafood Legacy) about the Japanese sustainable seafood movement kept us entertained. Did you know that Japanese baseball players bunt twice as often as American Major League players? Wakao really helped us understand how cultural differences play out with the sustainability movement. We also heard about new improvement efforts getting underway in Africa and some discussion of how to engage critical markets such as South Korea and China.

As the Target 75 Forum wrapped up we were all left with our own road maps that will hopefully keep us moving towards shared sustainability goals. For me, it seems imperative that collaboration needs to remain one of our guiding principles. Internal collaboration to help our Inland team continue to do everything we can to be an active part of a sustainable seafood industry, and external partnerships to make the most of relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues.

Collaboration will hopefully lead to the second overarching theme of the last two days –  the need to “scale up”. Whether we’re talking literally scaling up as in the case of zonal aquaculture or RFMO’s, or more of the idea of scaling up – reaching out more, pushing for economic and social improvements outside of what impacts our own business. 

It’s going to be an exciting year!