Making it happen in practice

Page - June 17, 2008

Use sustainability to improve brand image

Sustainability is not only environmentally sound and socially just, but it is also an asset for a retailer’s image. Top retailers have made their sustainable seafood policies available to their customers and clearly outline why sustainable seafood is important and how they are taking action to live up to their principles. There are many opportunities for innovation and creativity in presenting sustainable seafood sourcing policies to customers through point of sale information leaflets and poster, websites, in-store magazines, and advertising.

Training staff to learn how to purchase sustainable seafood

A policy is only of any value if retail staff members understand and are engaged with the issues. This requires the training of the purchasing as well as of the sales staff. They need to understand and endorse the policy in order to be able to implement it and to credibly explain it to suppliers and to customers.

Communicating with costumers

Most consumers are interested in buying sustainable seafood, but are not able to find the information they need to make an informed choice. Labelling is often so poor that consumers do not know which species they are buying or by which method they were caught. Retailers can make their customers their allies by explaining the problems related to unsustainable fisheries to them and by promoting their sustainable species. Retailers should the take opportunity to make their customers feel that their preferences are taken seriously with the implementation of a sustainable seafood sourcing policy.


The adherence to a sustainable seafood sourcing policy by all those involved in its implementation should be regularly monitored. While this can include regular monitoring at all levels by internal processes, external third party monitoring is recommend as it will ensure an independent and unbiased assessments and advice.