SASSI participation scheme

“Large retailers, national restaurant franchises, smaller supermarkets and fish shops – together with their suppliers – all have an important role to play in the seafood supply chain.”

Wouldn’t it be easy if all the seafood you saw at the fish counter or on the freezer shelves was sustainable and in-line with looking after our oceans for future generations? SASSI wants to see this vision become a reality through the work we do with many committed partners in the seafood supply chain.

Both suppliers and sellers of seafood can have a positive influence on South Africa’s seafood industry by changing the way they buy seafood. They can contribute to creating an environment where fishers and fish farmers don’t feel at a competitive disadvantage when addressing environmental issues as part of their operations.

To encourage responsible sourcing of seafood, WWF developed the SASSI Retailer / Supplier Participation Scheme in 2008 as a means to engage with all large retailers and national restaurant franchises, as well as hotel groups, to drive the change that is needed. We encourage all other seafood suppliers and sellers to make commitments to sustainable seafood, using the Business Guide to Sustainable Seafood to transform their own businesses. So whether you’re eating hake and chips at your local fish shop, ordering a creative seafood dish while dining out or buying fresh fish at your supermarket, we need you to help drive this vision.

The companies that SASSI works with through the SASSI Retailer / Supplier Participation Scheme focus on assessing the sustainability of their seafood operations through the use of biannual organisational assessments. SASSI then collaborates with these companies to develop and implement solutions to address their key seafood sustainability challenges. A vital part of this process is when companies make measurable commitments to sustainable seafood, thus creating the incentive for source fisheries and fish farms to change.

Remember, transforming markets is an incremental process that takes time. As such, companies are encouraged to have a clear, long-term strategy that guides them towards achieving their commitments to sustainable seafood. And although SASSI is working with these companies, it does not necessarily mean that they sell only sustainable seafood.

These companies need consumers to hold them accountable to their commitments and to support them on their journey towards achieving their seafood sustainability goals.

We have seen the need to develop public communications around important aspects of the Participation scheme, including the species that have not been assessed by SASSI and those that are considered “under improvement”. These communications guide Participants in their own communications and inform consumers about the commitments of Participants.