Category Archives: LCA

“ASIAN food industry is facing a sustainability crisis” – Sustainable Foods Summit: Key Outcomes & GHGe & LCA figures

Continue reading “ASIAN food industry is facing a sustainability crisis” – Sustainable Foods Summit: Key Outcomes & GHGe & LCA figures

Of LCA – “Choice matters: The environmental costs of producing meat, seafood”… “Many seafood choices have low impact on the environment”

Continue reading Of LCA – “Choice matters: The environmental costs of producing meat, seafood”… “Many seafood choices have low impact on the environment”

ORGANIC farming can make an important contribution to world nutrition, but…; “Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably” – New research

Continue reading ORGANIC farming can make an important contribution to world nutrition, but…; “Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably” – New research

CLOSED-contained aquaculture leads to (sea)food with less carbon footprint? Please consider full footprint & provide full data before making claims…

An August 27, 2017, video published on the BBC News website makes interesting viewing because of the claim made that Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) may “cut down the carbon footprint of eating seafood”. This is a claim too often recirculated without provision of the full data.

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Closed-contained aquaculture / RAS is indeed and absolutely a concept with great potential (not least the potential  for aquaponics & food security  in most urban & rural homes in the long-term) but the ‘lower carbon footprint’ argument will only gain validity & credibility if/when all the inputs are considered: namely, the energy & GHGe involved in the massive amount of materials & energy use required.

Lowering ‘food miles’ is great, but not so great if done at the expense of increasing concrete and PVC/plastic/aluminium usage (the cement industry is “one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide”).

Lowering ‘food miles’ is great, but not so great if done at the expense of increasing concrete and PVC/plastic/aluminium usage (the cement industry is “one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide”). Not taking into account all the energy requirements & footprints of RAS in making sustainability claims would equate to considering the sustainability of ‘conventional’ aquaculture without (for example) its feed or biodiversity footprints: something which — everybody agrees – would not make sense.

For comparison sakes, both closed-contained and open-pen aquaculture industries need to measure/assess the environmental – and social / human rights – ‘costs’ of all inputs (including those going into the making of their equipment & facilities) via Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) methodologies. This is also valid for other industries (agriculture, wind energy, etc.). Seafood Intelligence‘s last ‘Top 100 Seafood Firms’ Transparency Benchmark highlighted among many others that only 9% of the world’s top seafood companies communicate on  LCA studies/dimension when it comes to fish feed and/or transport-of-seafood-to-market (and much less than 9% provided data)…

Until all energy inputs necessary in the production of a particular good/service are considered, it can be preposterous to make some of those carbon footprint claims.

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The world’s first [closed-contained] GM salmon (consumed unwittingly by some Canadians in H1 2017) by AquaBounty which controversially claims to be “The World’s Most Sustainable Salmon” was produced in Panama (!) before being transported to Canada which already possesses ample wild-caught and farmed salmon resources. Where was the ‘smallest environmental footprint’ and which was the ‘most sustainable salmon’ then?!

Until companies become transparent and fully communicate in a timely & thir party-assured fashion on their sustainability performance, many claims to be found on the internet/in the media can be construed as greenwashing / bluewashing…

#Aquaculture #CSR, #Sustainability #CarbonFootprint #SeafoodEthics

See the BBC News video here: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-40927488/it-s-seafood-but-there-s-no-sea-required

‘Salmon transparency index lauds Cermaq, Tassal for openness’ – Seafood Intelligence Transparency Benchmark findings in UnderCurrent News

Continue reading ‘Salmon transparency index lauds Cermaq, Tassal for openness’ – Seafood Intelligence Transparency Benchmark findings in UnderCurrent News

Of Sustainability & Salmon Farming’s Social Licence to Operate: Sustainability Reporting & Sustainability Traceability Matters!

What gets measured gets done”… in salmon farming too!

But first: Lets ‘measure and report’!

Ever wondered how much information is proactively disclosed (online & in English) by the salmon farming industry (fish farmers and feed producers) about its practices, its social-environmental & economic impacts (positive and negative), its sustainability vision & strategy? How much of that information is up-to-date (thus +/- valid); and what is simple boast or greenwashing [i.e. ‘bluewashing’ in the aqua-context] vs. hard facts?

Fish feed constitutes upwards of 50% of the cost… and 70-80% of the carbon footprint of farmed salmon. Have you ever wondered what farmed salmon is fed: what terrestrial ingredients (GM or non-GM) are used in the feed, how much of the marine-sourced ingredients (fish meal/oil) comes from which fish stock and from where? And how those stocks are +/- sustainably managed (can IUU fish be ruled out)? What impacts also do those fisheries have in terms of bycatch, endangering other marine species (incl. marine mammals), etc… This is only but one example to illustrate how ‘sustainability traceability’ impacts and matters to what ends up on our plate…. How it can impact consumers’ decision to purchase farmed salmon products in the first place… and possibly the supermarket / retailer’s reputation in case of ‘crisis’ or ‘scandal’.

Salmon farming* holds great prospects, but the industry needs to be [+/- ‘held’] accountable in ways which can be documented, both for its own internal sake: to improve performance (‘biological’, economic and – not least – ‘reputational’), and for gaining and keeping its social licence to operate. Aquaculture and the ‘Blue Revolution’ holds tremendous potential, not least the potential to feed an ever-growing population. But can it develop in the face of bad publicity, lack of communication and transparency? The industry’s sustainability,  growth and its social licence to operate are intrinsically and holistically linked. Acceptance is not only needed at the local political and community level, but also in the  – more global – market spheres. Sustainability reporting and accountability contribute to acceptance…

How much progress has occurred in the past year in the salmon farming world? This is a VERY fast-moving industry in terms of size, technology, best practices, eco/responsible certification and how it effectively tackles its sustainability challenges… Who produces what, and how much destined to whom? [Size matters also when it comes to impacts!] These are all worthwhile questions to which we aim to provide answers…

Seafood Intelligence (SeafoodIntell.com) has analysed in great details what & how the world’s Top 36 salmon farmers and Top 11 salmonid feed producers have disclosed regarding their operations in 2016/FY2016 and previous years: quantifiably benchmarking (re. relevance, quality/quantity, timeliness and ‘vision’) disclosures against a set of ~130 key indicators. This is our 7th yearly benchmark, also enabling us to monitor progresses. This latest Salmon Industry Transparency Benchmark can also help other stakeholders (eNGOs, retail chains, scientists and institutions) form an unbiased opinion of what is actually ‘going on’ in the sector: Hundreds of quotes (inspirational or otherwise… including ‘claims’ [+/- substantiated]), figures, references, indexed disclosures per companies etc… The result of a full year’s work based on a demanding methodology!

Mapping risks &#SeafoodEthics: What are salmon/feed firms’ ethical strategies? Do they conduct materiality assessments and map risks in their supply chain? And how do they define ‘supply chain’ and stakeholders? Some argue they have no ‘human rights’ issues “in their country”; but can have some equipment and boats built in Asia. Some of their feed can be made using fish harvested in questionable fashion, or with plant ingredients contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon…? Do companies audit suppliers, based on what ‘Code of responsible sourcing’ or ‘Code of ethics/conduct’? Do they even have such corporate governance? Do they have whistleblower policies? How to they engage with stakeholders and communities, beyond supporting local schools? Do they assess and report (incl. negative) impacts they have on communities? Do they respect and engage with indigenous people on whose ‘territories’ they operate? Etc.

All this, and much MUCH more (~1,000 pages of comparative analysis), in the Seafood Intelligence 2017 Salmon Industry Transparency Benchmark… The only reference assessing communication, green/blue-washing claims against actual disclosures. Well over 100 key performance indicators have been monitored yearly for the past 6/7 years: this enables one to assess where there is progress, and where there is dearth…

By casting the light on those ‘reputational’ topics in an objective/quantifiable fashion and by assessing yearly how transparent the world’s main corporate players are… we have substantiated hope that encouraging companies to assess their exposure/transparency level on a variety of sustainability-related topics does & will lead them to ‘measure and improve’. Seafood Intelligence has encouraged several national and global leaders to improve on their performances – and for some helped them to launch into ‘sustainability reporting’ altogether in a rational, GRI-indexed, way.

The 2017 ‘Salmon’ Benchmark is published on July 31, 2017: Contact “editor – at – SeafoodIntelligence – dot -com” for orders].

Check out  http://www.seafoodintell.com/?page_id=16 & See Testimonials re. previous reports here: http://www.seafoodintell.com/?page_id=18

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PS*: I’ll talk about the ‘wild catch’ salmon side later this year… the ‘wild’ salmon industry lacks considerably in transparency term; as we already found out in our latest ‘Top 100 Benchmark’ looking at the 100 largest seafood companies in the world.

One ‘key’ – very small indeed [but this could arguably sway some European/U.S. consumers’ decision if...] – example of the dearth of knowledge/data available to end-consumers is that much [up to ~50% depending on salmon species and years] of the salmon ‘wild’ labelled on supermarket shelves comes from ‘enhanced’ [or ‘augmented’] hatchery-fisheries relying (in the fish’s early stages to smolt) on salmon feed containing notably GM/GMO ingredients. Those fisheries rely and thus support GMOs agriculture/industries [not that this is necessarily an issue: that’s a very different topic altogether, and complete departure from the ‘transparency’ component/label discussed here]. Even some salmon processors & importers I have talked to over the years ignore everything about the ‘hatchery component’ (what about retailers?)… But there are also dozens of aspects on which the ‘wild’ salmon industry doesn’t communicate, whereas these are commonly reported by many on the salmon farming ‘side’.

ANALYSING European consumers’ attitude towards aquaponic products; ‘Willing to pay more’ for aquaponic fish?

Continue reading ANALYSING European consumers’ attitude towards aquaponic products; ‘Willing to pay more’ for aquaponic fish?

LCA & ‘true’ vs. ‘hidden’ environmental / social costs of food production: ‘The true value’ of sustainable foods once ‘externalities’ are removed

Continue reading LCA & ‘true’ vs. ‘hidden’ environmental / social costs of food production: ‘The true value’ of sustainable foods once ‘externalities’ are removed

“TIDE is changing for [U.S.] offshore aquaculture… it remains to be seen whether strict regulations and a robust, sustainable form of fish production can go hand in hand”

Continue reading “TIDE is changing for [U.S.] offshore aquaculture… it remains to be seen whether strict regulations and a robust, sustainable form of fish production can go hand in hand”

March 22 is World Water Day – What is the seafood industry’s global water footprint, what are the policies & targets in place?…

In order to (start to) illustrate the scale of the global ‘water’ issues, and the fact that many of the world’s largest seafood firms either don’t disclose any figures and/or state that ‘water being plentiful, it is not an issue… ‘, below is some of the data excerpted from Seafood Intelligence’s latest benchmark of the world’s Top 100 seafood firms sustainability reporting and disclosures…

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https://twitter.com/Salmoskius/status/844559499788726272

“RESULTS are jaw-dropping”: Greenpeace report highlights plastic footprint of world’s largest soft drinks companies; Marine pollution

Continue reading “RESULTS are jaw-dropping”: Greenpeace report highlights plastic footprint of world’s largest soft drinks companies; Marine pollution

IMPROVING [sea]food firms’ value chain sustainability: UK’s FDF & INCPEN publish “Packaging for people, planet and profit –  sustainability checklist”

Continue reading IMPROVING [sea]food firms’ value chain sustainability: UK’s FDF & INCPEN publish “Packaging for people, planet and profit –  sustainability checklist”

FOOD security challenge: How to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread? – Groundbreaking study using advanced LCA tool

Continue reading FOOD security challenge: How to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread? – Groundbreaking study using advanced LCA tool

“THE truth” about UK supermarket Alaska salmon: “It’s come 22,000 miles… (via China, Suez and the Med)… and may be 18 months old!” – Daily Mail

Continue reading “THE truth” about UK supermarket Alaska salmon: “It’s come 22,000 miles… (via China, Suez and the Med)… and may be 18 months old!” – Daily Mail

MILLIONS of tonnes of food could be saved with better logistics: “Amount of food that is thrown away nowadays is incredible”

Continue reading MILLIONS of tonnes of food could be saved with better logistics: “Amount of food that is thrown away nowadays is incredible”

OF REPUTATION, ‘sustainability’ and acceptance: Salmon & Seafood industries have [lots of] work to do… On GMOs, traceability, women…

Continue reading OF REPUTATION, ‘sustainability’ and acceptance: Salmon & Seafood industries have [lots of] work to do… On GMOs, traceability, women…

CERMAQ CEO recommends aquaculture at Fortune & Time Global Forum; highlights “very small ecological footprint” of farmed salmon – SDG 14

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Continue reading CERMAQ CEO recommends aquaculture at Fortune & Time Global Forum; highlights “very small ecological footprint” of farmed salmon – SDG 14

NEW sugarcane feedstock-based omega-3-rich whole algae ingredient “alternative to fish oil, addresses declining Omega-3 content in farmed salmon”

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Continue reading NEW sugarcane feedstock-based omega-3-rich whole algae ingredient “alternative to fish oil, addresses declining Omega-3 content in farmed salmon”

PHOSPHOROUS footprint & sustainability: “How diet can influence environmental impact”… “important part of planning for sustainable food system”

 

Continue reading PHOSPHOROUS footprint & sustainability: “How diet can influence environmental impact”… “important part of planning for sustainable food system”

NEW global report highlights the role of land based farming systems for Atlantic salmon – ISFA

Continue reading NEW global report highlights the role of land based farming systems for Atlantic salmon – ISFA