June 28, 2013 From the Kodiak Daily Mirror: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has sent suppliers a letter saying it will stop selling Alaska salmon that isn't certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game dropped its sponsorship of the salmon industry's MSC certification in 2010, saying it was too expensive, and processors then pulled out, also citing the program's complexity.
This has been building for awhile.
It exploded during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting when Senator Lisa Murkowski grilled National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis over his agency's requirement that its vendors provide only seafood certified "sustainable" by two non-governmental organizations, MSC, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Watch the exchange Senator Murkowski Questions NPS Director About Shortcomings
She asked whether NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) was involved in formulating this recommendation. He responded that he didn’t know. Senator Murkowski responded “NOAA is the agency that makes the determination in terms of what’s sustainable (as far as fisheries are concerned) within this country”
She also reminded him that ENGO's have a history of crapping on US fishermen, and they do.
Here are two articles, with lots of links.
The first, from Nils Stolpe- Seafood Certification - Who's on First shows the relationship (money) of the Walton Foundation (that demanded the third party certification) and MSC and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation's relationship (money) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List.
Earlier in the month I wrote about Wamart saying they were not going to sell Alaska Salmon without the NDC label, but what they didn't sat was they were doing to sell Alaska Salmon bought by a back door buyer in the Walmart stores in Brazil!
Until I read Stolpe's article, I had no idea of the incestuous relationship between the Walton Foundation and MSC, but in retrospect, it appears that the strong arming of trying to force Alaska Salmon Fishery's to carry that Blue label, the Walmart paid for Blue label seems like blackmail, and extortion.
July 2, 2013
Walmart will continue to sell Alaska Salmon that is not MSC certified, but not in the US!
Dear salmon supplier,
As you know, Walmart has an ongoing commitment to sustainable seafood sourcing. To meet our requirements for wild-caught seafood, the source fishery must be certified sustainable to the MSC standard (or equivalent*) or, if not certified, actively working toward certification. This latter scenario includes fisheries in public fishery improvement projects (FIPs).
Sources of MSC certified fisheries are currently available from Alaska, British Columbia, and Russia. If you are not already sourcing from an MSC certified fishery, please explore these options. Since these areas also have fisheries that are not MSC certified, it is critical you buy from companies or producers with MSC chain of custody.
Currently, there is only one public salmon FIP in the world. It is a very small project led by WWF for chum salmon in the Tugur River of Russia. However, we are aware there are discussions of other FIPs in Russia and Alaska. In order to meet Walmart’s requirements these FIPs must be made public and must have a comprehensive work plan available showing how it is working toward certification. If you would like to sell Walmart product that is from a fishery in a FIP, please work with the organization implementing the FIP to meet the requirements above before shipping any product to us. If you have questions about this or need advice, please contact me via email and copy Brad Spear(firstname.lastname@example.org)with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, our NGO partner.
Although I’m not a Salmon Supplier, I am an American Citizen reading about Walmart dumping the Alaska Salmon Fishery as a supplier of Salmon at Walmart stores in the United States for the lack of some little blue ENGO sticker from Britain!
Walmart Corporation ignores the fact that all US fisheries are fished sustainably BY LAW.
The Walton Foundation has a history of financing destructive policies towards US Fishermen through collaboration with ENGO’s that are anti US Fisherman.
Once again, they remind me they are no friend of our Fishermen.
I remind you that the Walton Foundation financed the Pew/EDF/ENGO written “Oceans of Abundance” hogwash that has turned many politicians against US Fishermen, while financing the Corporate green washers they need to paint them as eco friendly.
I had to see who the MSC funders, backers, “partners” are, and amazingly, the Walton Foundation is among those that support the profit generating Marine Stewardship Council, along with an all star cast of “Ocean Champions”! Link
I’m curious about this, though.
It seems as though Walmart won’t stop selling Alaska Salmon.
They just won’t be selling it to US citizens!
Alaskan seafood now being imported directly
Alaskan seafood has begun being imported directly into Brazil this month via supplier Noronha Pescados. The products are Alaska salmon, pollock and cod and they are going straight to Walmart, Pao de Acucar, Cencosud and other Brazilian stores.
Michael Cerne, the executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), attributed the quick and relatively recent growth of Brazil’s interest in Alaskan seafood to ASMI’s marketing initiatives.
“The Brazilian programme for ASMI is relatively new. We just started about a year and a half ago,” said ASMI’s Brazilian marketer Jose Madeira, KMXT reports. “We’re like a beef country, but per capita consumption of seafood in Brazil has like doubled in the last decade.”
Until now, Brazil had only been exposed to Alaskan cod, but it was shipped through Portugal, where it was salted. Because of that midway point, Cerne explained that the fish could no longer be labelled “Alaskan” as there was a lack of traceability.
But directly shipping the fish to Brazil does allow for the fish to be labelled as Alaskan, which paves the way for other Alaskan fish, Madeira stated.
“So we’re also exploring other opportunities with other species like salmon, halibut, black cod and some other species,” he said. “So we see great potential for Brazil; it’s a relatively new market, and we’re just starting to see the numbers moving up.”
Based on the price point, the target market will probably be middle class and upper middle class, according to Dru Fenster, a spokesperson for ASMI, The Cordova Times reports.
Madeira has been in charge of much of the marketing and promotion behind the scenes, which, as Cerne pointed out, is responsible for growth in the markets.
“We do a lot of promotion efforts with our partners in Brazil supporting the importers,” he said. “We do retail merchandizing, we have a very extensive programme for advertising, trade missions, participate in trade shows. We just organized a buyer delegation from Brazil to come to Alaska in July.”
He acknowledged that Alaska wild salmon is up against the very popular farmed Atlantic salmon in Brazil, although ASMI sees a lot of potential in the food service industry.
“We have a strong message about salmon, and I think eventually we’re going to break into the Brazilian market and get some very good market share,” he added.
ASMI has been working within Brazil since 2011 and conducted two trade missions there in March and December 2012. Its figures show that imports from Alaska doubled last year and Cerne expects the trend to keep progressing.
They would deny US Walmart shoppers access to Alaska Salmon, but back door it to Brazil!