The Seafood MAP is a transition framework built on the common language of the UN SDGs to guide farmers and fishers towards both increased profitability and sustainability.
IDH works with international and local producers, processors, traders and investors to co-develop scalable and replicable sustainability solutions for the global aquaculture industry. We use the United Nations SDGs as reference and common framework for impact targets and progressive dialogue with the many diverse stakeholders. We work with two programs that supplement and strengthen each other.
Central to our work is the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s Seafood MAP (“Measuring and Accelerating Performance of the global seafood supply) which IDH is co-developing. The Seafood MAP is a transition framework built on the common language of the UN SDGs to guide farmers and fishers towards both increased profitability and sustainability.
By following the framework towards sustainable development, farmers will be rewarded with improved financial and market access from regional, national and international financiers and market players, which is made possible through framework localization.
- For the market, the Seafood MAP provides a complementary structure to existing certification programs. It helps stimulating collection of and transparency, enabling market players to act on that data. The low-cost and accessible nature of the Seafood MAP creates more reliability and transparency with non-certified seafood, which often faces capacity issues for third-party verification of sustainability metrics.
- For the investors, the Seafood MAP helps reduce reputational risk by offering a third-party framework to verify that proceeds are being used to support a transition towards sustainability. Further, innovative financiers can more directly guide their investment proceeds using the Seafood MAP, ensuring that their investments into sustainable development follow an optimal path for profitability and sustainability, whilst adhering to local interests and needs of communities.
- For the producers, the Seafood MAP provides an opportunity for potentially increased access to finance and market. A accessible and locally tailored framework towards sustainable development is accessible wherever the producer is in the world.
2. Partnership Assurance Model
The Partnership Assurance Model brings together local and national governments, farmers in a specific production region, and committed end buyers (national and international) to co-design, implement, and verify environmental improvements with MAP as the reference throughout the production process.
This approach seeks to make best use of the strengths and roles of each of the partners involved, making sustainability the responsibility of all stakeholders; farmers, processors, and buyers in addition to other stakeholders such as NGOs, government, input providers, banks/financial institutions, and technology companies.
The four key components of the partnership assurance model include:
- Committed multi-stakeholder involvement. The model engages key stakeholders in the region and the value chain, including producers (smallholder, as well as the medium- and large-scale producers), processors, buyers, input providers, technology companies, NGOs and other local, implementing partners like: Seafood Watch of MBA, Thai Union, Resonance, SGS and others. Partnerships with committed national and global buyers are an essential component in driving improvements and developing a credible verification process. National and local governments are key stakeholders, but the timing of their involvement and role are determined during each initiative. The partners agree on priority sustainability objectives, develop a timeline towards meeting these objectives, adapt standards to the area and local context, and implement a verification system.
- Global sustainability standards applied locally. The model builds on common issue areas in aquaculture that are identified in existing global standards. These concepts are applied in the production area to accurately reflect the realities of farmers while also considering the goals important to stakeholders outside the region, including buyers. This strategy provides market incentives, establishes robust sustainability goals, and ensures that local-level needs are recognized.
- Credible and fit-for-purpose verification. This model is both efficient, in terms of cost and scale of improvements, and legitimate, in terms of acceptance from both local stakeholders and end buyers. It facilitates sustainability improvements at a broad geographic scale, while employing tailored verification to provide efficient and legitimate assurance that is appropriate for the area and meeting the requirements of global buyers.
- Supported area-based improvement. The model engages all involved parties to contribute work and/or financial support in order to achieve project goals. This approach facilitates communication between supply chain participants and stakeholders, and provides support for improvement and verification in a way that shares input, values, and costs between parties. Area-based improvements are inclusive of farms at all scales, which allows for a more comprehensive improvement strategy.