Please feel free to post questions and comments in the group chat. Colles and the other hosts will curate your questions as we go along and pose the questions to the panelists
As we move into the next stage of the MSA reauthorization, what are some things we can ask for that will help further our mission? We have been playing defense for a while, but I think it's time to go big with our vision.
Kendall: you are right. We have introduced some language changes for the MSA reauthorization process but they have been ignored. Part of our work now is to build power around those demands. You can see those demands signed by members of the Fish Locally Collaborative including many fishermen and ally organization. Note the 5 demands, including fish as food and transparency and accountability as two separate demands. Here’s the link to the document http://www.namanet.org/sites/default/files/documents/Congressmen%20Tierney%20and%20DeFazio%205%20Aug%2014.pdf
How do we know that the business models of giant seafood companies is reconcilable with “fair food”
Anyone know the meeting ID number for people trying to call in?
Here you go: 1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833
It asks for a meeting ID number when you call those numbers. I have a fisherman trying to call in who needs that number
ID #: 773-219-448
Hi Kelly; we see you not your screen :-)
Kelly, I don’t think you’ve shared your screen
We need to have a conversation about methods that are respectful of the environment. I’m not sure it’s about methods per se, but more about how adapted these methods are to a specific environment…It’s a hard conversation but I think it’s time we dug deeper into it. We’re ready to do it I believe.
Since it’s the core of Clean values
How can we convince the bigger enviro groups to get interested in the fight against offshore finfish aquaculture?
has there been an discussion regard use of geographic indicators for local
Agreed Michele. It is time. And it must be adaptive to specific region as each region/estuary, fishery has it’s own environmental set of challenges.
For Kenny: Having been through the process of developing relationships and personally ensuring that you know your fisherman, is there anything you could have done or could do in the future to streamline the process?
Kenny, do you have people asking what you have instead of do you have? and if yes, is it a growing trend?
Kenny! This is so refreshing to hear! Thank you for the care you take in your product!
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
Great question Taylor Witkin…curious about this as well!
does it need to scale? or ripple? :-)
Kenny and Kendall, are you using technology and new digital tools to streamline the process? If so, what products/technology platforms do you use and how do you use them?
It sounds like the MSC certification is helping the folks of this Alaska cooperative selling in European markets as well as Whole Foods in the US. But does MSC really work at the local level? It seems that it does not.
I mean MSC vs. seafood supply chains at the local scale
Kendall: we are beginning to see some shift in national groups’ positions on offshore aquaculture as shown by this press release from June and this letter signed by fishers, chefs, and seafood suppliers who need clean and healthy oceans to provide quality, nutritious seafood for our customers; tribal nations who hold the ocean ecosystem and its inhabitants as sacred; nonprofit organizations who fight to protect our environment; academics and researchers who study ocean health and conservation; and coastal communities and businesses who depend heavily on the ocean for our livelihoods and wellbeing to members of congress. Here are the links: http://foe.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-5-29-OOA-Hill-Letter-1-1.pdf and press release is here http://www.namanet.org/sites/default/files/field_file/Oceans%20March%20Aquaculture%20Press%20Release%20June%202018%20final.pdf
MSC’s credibility is under attack and I think there’s a window of opportunity, even in Europe, to bring in a new narrative of sustainability… the problem is how to make it visible. Retailers are asking for it, but since the whole sector is a minefield, they are very cautious
Jorge: In my experience MSC works based on your market. It has a much stronger hold in Europe where those buyers do demand it. Domestic consumers care about sustainability but don't seem to have latched on to sustainabiliy certification as much as European markets.
Michele: Well put.
Corey: Good question. The answer from our perspective at NAMA is that giant seafood companies probably can’t reconcile with “fair food.” interesting question... I think the answer is it isn't. For example, we don't expect Tyson to start producing "fair chicken" - we want the values based businesses we work with to grow access to the markets companies like Tyson currently dominate. Part of the reason why this conversation is important to us is we believe having values-based seafood businesses are critical to taking market away from those whose models simply can’t achieve our values.
Has MSC developed social standards yet? Is it still missing that aspect of fairness?
Monterey Bay Aquarium/Packard Foundation/Seafood Watch is having credibility problems also. They claimed funding shortfalls that led to relying on MSC’s offshoot ASC for all their Aquaculture Standards. Outsourcing to suspect trustworthy ASC.
I think they are starting to develop that as they update their standard. I believe Seafood Watch is incorporating social fairness into their evaluation criteria as well.
Johnny: That's good to know. I had not heard that.
How credible is MSC and other certifications? Has it just become a shortcut to sustainability for seafood retailers? Who’s pushing MSC to do better?
Consumer dollar is not enough, you need citizen commitment as well….
All due respect, I don't think there's enough information out there for consumers to make the kind of choices we're talking about. I don't think they see the policy changes that have major impacts on their choices. I don't think they asked for farmed salmon. I see that as supply-side economics.
Completely agree with Michelle on citizens’ commitment!!
From MSC, final public consultation open until Oct 15: https://improvements.msc.org/database/labour-requirements
Fair Trade USA now has a wild fisheries certification. The program has a social and environmental component: https://www.fairtradecertified.org/business/standards/capture-fisheries-standard
If anyone would like to discuss the above questions on MSC, feel free to contact me after the webinar firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the link to labor inclusions to our standard. You can comment through Oct 15
Michele: excellent point, though getting that committment from citizens 1 by 1 is hard. Institutions, like hospitals and universities, need to be and are being leaders, aggregating good decisions for their customers, students, and patients
MSC and Europe? Where in Europe? As far as I know, in Spain (where I am from) very few restaurants if any are promoting seafood sustainability linked to MSC.
I agree Michele! it takes a strong local movement that hold value in their local environment.
Kenny is right. I am working with so many Chef’s that are refusing to buy from seafood distributors anymore, tired of getting burned. These Chef’s will only buy direct from the Fisher/Boat now.
Consumer education is everything. 90% import figure is driven by habit, driven by price. We change views one conversation at a time. it’s slow work. I know this. But it’s critical.
the recommendations have been helpful for individual or direct market sales like those to restaurants. How do you suggest large purchasers like institutions, military ect ensure they are purchasing well. For instance, what about an institution from a land locked state in the middle of the country.
On the topic of fairness & transparency - I'm curious about the process of coming up with the numbers. Kenny & Kendall: How do you set the specific payment amount for each fisherman for each unique fish caught? and how do you set a price for each fish when selling it? what percentage do you take as a middle man? What kind of efforts are made to keep the payments to the fisherman, price of the fish, and profit margin "fair"?
Certifications are simply one tool to help work on a very complicated problem that currently covers about 14% of the global supply. We need more tools and more approaches that are inclusive of local stakeholders to unlock value in seafood that is currently not being realized by local stakeholders due to the commodity buying and selling
Are there fishermen using the “agrotourism” model? This could be a strategy to connect people to their food and boost income for fishermen. Lots of hurdles, but food for thought
Great question Stacia. There are many non-coastal chefs looking for these resources and relationships to buy their seafood but theyve been unable to find them.
I believe we need to make complexity inspiring and challenging, but also accessible by looking at it on a bioregional scale. If people don’t understand the importance of the quality of the water, which comes from how their sewage is treated, how their land based food is grown and how it impacts the waterways, how much transportation, military, mining and energy activities, plus tourism and sports fisheries, small scale and industrial fisheries are impacting a specific body of water and environment, and how they are competing, i don’t think we’ll make much progress on the long term…
Fraud is a Crime
What can be done by this community to help prevent another horrific seafood fraud operation like Sea To Table from arriving on the scene and damaging the movement and destroying public trust? What can we do to protect whistleblowers like the ones that were silenced, ignored or fired from Sea To Table?
MSC’s biggest detractor these days is their founder WWF. WWF has released/leaked some scathing reports on how MSC has gone off the rails and the bottom line is profit and cushy bureaucracy. This is the same problem/perception with the majority of seafood certification schemes, they exist for themselves and their largest industrial fish farmers and multinational retailers. Fishers and Chefs are small potatoes that just get in their way.
Why scale one operation? Why not scale the number of operator functioning at a small or medium scale?
which also allows for more voices to carry an alternative narrative and building relationships
well said Brett
Scale up values. Well said indeed
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
Bravo, Brett ! Very well put.
I think it will be hard to scale up or eat more domestic fish without getting more money into the hands of more Americans. Fish is expensive and it should be, so in some way, we can only grow our consumer by redistributing wealth, right?
I’m not sure how the forage fisheries is operating in the Staes. But with 40% of the world wild fisheries going into forage, I think we have ample margin to have more people eat fish, at affordable prices, as long as they are willing to eat the whole variety the sea can offer
Blockchain is a solution
Good point, Michelle. Chile is a good case in point. All garage going into farmed “chemical” salmon
all forage, I mean
If we want to scale up domestic seafood production, we need to promote ALL US-caught seafood (rather than picking and choosing gear types). American fisheries are managed under the MSA, so American seafood is inhearintly sustainable.
more investment by states and regions in promoting local and sustainable american fish
Listening in as a customer, first and foremost. Thank you all for what you do. (1) What are your thoughts/reactions to traceability/transparency almost always viewed from a "global" lens (not debating merits), and not considering the value of improving models *here.* (2) Do you feel recent advancements in traceability tech, including high profile pilots (blockchain, etc.), have occurred in a bubble and lack the perspective (yours!) necessary for broad-scale adoption?
Colles can I say something?
after Kelly I mean?
for kenny, I think folks are willing to pay for it if they know what they’re paying for. Cheap farmed fish is wasteful to our wallets, energy, environment, and health.
Same with Dungeness Crab. We are all gearing up and down the West Coast and China and Taiwan are driving the price. Almost the whole catch is exported. And now we have the crazy Trump trade wars to add to the crazy.
we need to rebuild local processing and get fish into local instututions distribution and acess to markets is a killer.
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
I’ve heard murmurs about exploring govt. subsidies for seafood? Almost every other agriculture product receives some sort of subsidy, but seafood is left out. Curious for this groups take on that. Or does will that exacerbate the problem?
agreed education is also critical. great discussion
Building and expanding local small processing infrastructure and capacity is a Mt. Everest. Access to capital hurdles are overwhelming for development of ice machines, micro-processors and value-added facilities-smokehouses, drying, salting, canning.
Couldn’t agree more with what Michele just said about supporting other communities beyond US borders. American consumers have created some of these problems in the first place and have a critical role to play in solving them. Simply abandoning them to other markets is in my view irresponsible.
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
What role can ‘frozen’ fish provide, in some way, to scale since it’s put into stable form and might reduce the cost issue. Culturally consumers and chefs favor fresh product and are leery of frozen product, but seems to be shifting?
we had long conversation on local in development of core values being able to connect to fisher was one of the keys to supporting local
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
And may solve the access piece for those who are non-coastal at the same time.
Roger- I just wrote a blog on frozen fish (free registration req'd) http://plateonline.com/food/why-frozen-seafood-worth-second-look
MBFT - Roger Burleigh
Thanks Justin…I’ll check it out!
thank you everyone
And practically every NGO and Foundation on the planet will try to shove some greedy Aquaculture projects down on Communities, instead of assisting on chilling, ice, cold storage, adding value, and distribution. That kind of work is too hard for most NGO’s and Foundations. Teaming up with Aquaculture Speculators is the easy way out that’s the bandwagon bandaid approach they all love now.
Very informative. Thanks!
Thank you panel! and Colles!
Thanks to all for the energy. It helps keeps the motivation high!
Ditto, thanks everyone!
Excellent discussion and valuable presentations. Thanks!
Nacio’s iPhone (2)
Thanks, very informative!
Thank you so much for such thoughtful discussion, everyone!!
Thanks to all the panelists, organizers, and participants. Great webinar!!