State, Walmart Announce Agreement on Alaska Seafood Sustainability
January 24, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Following focused efforts by the State of Alaska to educate, inform, and reassure Walmart about Alaska’s commitment to responsible fisheries management, Governor Sean Parnell today announced that Walmart and the state had come to an agreement, and that the retailer will continue to purchase Alaska seafood.
“This is great news for Alaska’s seafood industry and the state as a whole,” Governor Parnell said. “We are very happy to hear that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will continue to buy Alaska seafood. I want to especially commend the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) for their hard work in showcasing the sustainability of Alaska seafood. Maintaining choice in seafood sustainability certifications is important to the State of Alaska and the fishing industry, and Walmart’s decision is a major step in the right direction.”
Representatives from ASMI and several state officials have been working with Walmart and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) for several months, including a delegation visiting corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas last September. Just a couple of weeks ago, Walmart sent a delegation to Alaska to continue discussions clarifying aspects of the Responsible Fisheries Management Certification program, and to see firsthand the work being done to ensure Alaska’s fish are harvested responsibly.
In addition to continuing to purchase Alaska seafood, Walmart has amended its sourcing policies to allow for multiple certification programs that meet principles outlined by TSC. The state will continue working with TSC as ASMI considers the recently released TSC principles.