The WBA Seafood Stewardship Index presents an overall ranking based on the results in five measurement areas. These areas reflect where stakeholders expect corporate action, pinpointing where companies can have the most impact.
The performances of the 30 companies varied in each of the measurement categories. WBA observed that some companies are performing well in certain areas, working with leading industry practices. We found strong sustainability strategies, sourcing practices and human rights policies. There were some good examples of how companies manage the environmental impact of their operations and how they work on initiatives for more sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
However, the overall performance of the industry is low. This can be explained by the fact that the industry has been benchmarked against the UN SDGs. An ambitious agenda for the next decade, which the world has collectively agreed upon. The industry’s performance indicates that seafood companies need to do more to deliver on the SDGs. Particularly, addressing its impact on ecosystems, human rights and interaction with local communities.
Thai Union Group leads the WBA Seafood Stewardship Index 2019 ranking. The company, known for its John West and Chicken of the Sea brands, stands out. Combining targets, robust environmental and social commitments and activities that it reports publicly. Thai Union Group demonstrates a responsive approach to human rights violations in the Thai seafood industry. This has spurred increased scrutiny over the last decade, driving two companies operating in Thailand to take positive action.
In second and third place respectively: Mowi and Charoen Pokphand Foods. Both demonstrating their strength across most measurement categories. Mowi is a Norwegian integrated salmon farming company, formerly known as Marine Harvest. It topped the ranking for the most transparent company with a strong sustainability strategy, detailing how it manages the impacts of its farming operations. Charoen Pokphand Foods, a Thai-based conglomerate, is one of the largest shrimp producers in the world. It demonstrated strong human rights commitments and group-level sustainability strategies and targets.
The remainder of the top ten consists of companies based in developed countries, predominantly Europe. Three of the top ten companies (BioMar Group, Cargill Aqua Nutrition and Nutreco) are active in the seafood industry through the production of aquaculture feed. Mowi and Charoen Pokphand Foods also produce aquaculture feed. Mostly reliant on supply chains, these companies provided higher levels of disclosure regarding their sourcing strategies compared to their peers. Leading to stronger scores across the benchmark.
Rank 11 to 20 includes a group of companies based in different continents, including Europe, Asia and North America. Places 21 to 30 are dominated by Japanese (four) and US-based (three) companies. Half of the companies in this section are privately owned, generally showing less regard for public disclosure of policies and operations. This limits transparency, making it difficult to judge how these companies are working towards a more sustainable seafood industry. Shanghai Fisheries General Corporation, one of two state-owned companies included in our benchmark, is bottom of the ranking. This is due to its serious lack of public disclosure across all measurement categories.