It has been one year since the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) launched as a new website, enabling users to access all seafood sourcing disclosures from one place. To celebrate our first anniversary as the leading online platform for seafood disclosure, we look back over the highlights of the year.
The website launched with profiles for nine leading companies demonstrating transparency around sustainable seafood sourcing. Since then, a further seven companies from the UK and North America have disclosed their seafood sourcing, including major retailers Walmart US, Giant Eagle, Lidl UK, and Meijer, and seafood suppliers North Atlantic Inc., Albion Farms & Fisheries, and Tradex. With the addition of these companies, we have increased the number of disclosures being shared by major retailers and have expanded the geographic coverage of our ODP participants. North Atlantic Inc. became the first North American supplier to participate, and Albion Farms & Fisheries became the first Canadian company to participate. If you haven’t already, check out the blog post written by Guy Dean, of Albion Farms & Fisheries, on his experience of participating in the ODP.
This year, we have been working with our participating companies to update their ODP profiles, creating profiles for prospective participants (look out for more exciting announcements of new participants this year!), and getting out and about to share the work of the ODP.
We have already updated a number of profiles for 2018, and our participants have been working to add more information on commitments and traceability practices to their profiles to make it even easier for users to understand their approach to seafood sourcing. We were especially excited in June to share the new expanded profile for fish-feed manufacturer BioMar, which now covers all fisheries supplying both whole product and byproduct (trimmings) for the production of marine ingredients by BioMar Norway. And in August, Skretting Norway followed in their footsteps by disclosing their sources of both whole product and byproduct. More profiles are in the process of being updated and can be expected for release in the coming months.
We have also been busy communicating the work of the ODP. In February, the ODP launched on social media and our following is growing. To get the latest ODP news, you can now follow us on Twitter (@OceanDisclosure) and LinkedIn. We also featured in an April blog post by the Food Marketing Institute, which put the spotlight on transparency efforts by three of FMI’s US retail members: Publix, Walmart, and Giant Eagle.
Lastly, the ODP team have attended a number of important seafood events this year. In May, I was lucky enough to spend two days in sunny Elche, Spain, where I delivered a presentation on the ODP at SFP’s 5th European Fisheries Forum. The forum was well-attended by about 60 others, representing the Spanish and UK industry, NGOs, and other seafood stakeholders. And in June, I attended the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Barcelona, where I presented on the ODP and other tools for managing ESG risks in seafood during a lightning-round session, alongside other great presenters from FishChoice, Seafood Watch, and more.
Hopefully, the next year will be just as exciting for the ODP and its participants.