WWF-SASSI Retailer/ Supplier Participation Scheme Reports | WWF South Africa

WWF-SASSI Retailer/ Supplier Participation Scheme Reports

Posted on
01 March 2017


In the mid-2000s there was an increase in consumer awareness of seafood sustainability issues and following this, a few environmentally-concerned seafood traders started to look for solutions to meet their customer’s desire for sustainable seafood options.

This was largely driven by WWF’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF-SASSI), a collaborative consumer-facing campaign, which published the first ever WWF-SASSI list in 2005. This simple seafood list used a traffic light of red (avoid completely), orange (think twice) and green (good to go).

But in order to embed long-term change in the seafood sector – from the consumer’s plate to the fishing boats at sea – WWF realised that they needed to work with all the players in the supply chain.

Transforming the seafood market was not just about empowering consumers to make responsible choices, we had to work with the fisheries, fishing companies and fish farms, seafood wholesalers and suppliers, and the retailers and restaurants who sell to seafood-loving consumers.

In 2008, the WWF-SASSI Retailer/ Supplier Participation Scheme was initiated.

This scheme provides a platform for major seafood companies to make public commitments about selling sustainable seafood, thus creating a strong market incentive for both large and small-scale fisheries to improve their production so that wholesalers can buy from responsibly-managed sources.

That same year, the first retailer participants signed up and by 2011 Pick n Pay made public commitments to transform the sustainability of their seafood operations. They were the first retailer in Africa to do so.

These commitments include sourcing WWF-SASSI Green-listed species, those certified as sustainable by third-party certification schemes such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), or supporting fisheries that are working towards becoming sustainable.

Since 2014, an annual report captures the progress of each WWF-SASSI participant as they work towards transforming their individual supply chain, and ensuring a sustainable seafood sector and healthy oceans.