WWF and Global Salmon Initiative launch new feed risk assessment tool

The new tool will improve visibility into aquaculture feed supply chains, allowing stakeholders to better identify and address possible Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks.
Complex supply chains pose a challenge in identifying environmental, social and governance risks of feed ingredients.

Complex supply chains pose a challenge in identifying environmental, social and governance risks of feed ingredients.

Photo: Global Salmon Initiative.

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has unveiled an innovative Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) risk assessment tool aimed at enhancing transparency and addressing risks within the feed ingredient supply chains.

The groundbreaking tool is designed to assist stakeholders across the salmon farming sector in identifying and managing ESG risks more effectively - and could also benefit the broader animal protein production industries, including livestock.

Developed over three years through collaboration between GSI members, WWF, and industry feed companies, the tool provides a unified framework to facilitate deeper engagement between farming companies and their feed suppliers.

This engagement aims to uncover and address potential risks related to biodiversity, climate change, resource use, environmental impacts, health and welfare, nutrition, human rights, and governance, among others.

Feed ingredients sourcing: a sustainability challenge

It also aids in evaluating the scalability of future novel ingredients, enabling more informed sourcing decisions that align with companies' strategic priorities and values.

“Feed ingredient sourcing remains one of the main sustainability challenges in salmon farming, and food production more broadly,” said Daniel Miller, aquaculture lead specialist at WWF.

“The surprising amount of unknown information in feed-ingredient supply chains leaves the sector open to unintentional risks and vulnerabilities—even for companies prioritizing sustainable, ethical production."

"With this tool, GSI members are taking a proactive approach to address these risks and identify opportunities to improve the supply chain. Looking at supply chains broadly and holistically doesn’t just mitigate risk; it also facilitates more informed and strategic decisions," Miller said.

Grieg Seafood and Skretting emphasise need for more transparency and traceability in supply chains

Industry representatives from aquaculture and feed manufacturing backed the importance of the new tool, with Grieg Seafood's Director of Feed and Nutrition Tor Eirik Homme and Skretting's Sustainability Manager Jorge Diaz Salinas both expressing their support for its implementation.

“We know we need to improve the level of transparency and traceability in our supply chains. Not only for our own knowledge, but also to provide feedback and assurances to our stakeholders whether customers, regulators, communities or long-term investors that we are sourcing from responsible and sustainable sources," said Tor Eirik Homme, Director of Feed and Nutrition, Grieg Seafood.

"By developing a common tool so producers can all ask the same questions of the supply chain which will streamline requests and improve the level of traceability, ultimately supporting accelerated improvements in the sustainability of the ingredients being used for feed,” he added.

"Sourcing feed ingredients from diverse supply chains makes it challenging to identify and mitigate all the current and potential ESG risks of our global operations. We’ve made significant progress over the past few years in addressing many of these risks, but we have more work to do and our pace needs to accelerate," added Jorge Diaz Salinas of Skretting.

"We support the implementation of the ESG tool because it will help us better identify what we know and what we don’t know about the impacts of certain ingredients, and in addressing these concerns, we will increase the transparency in our sourcing and ultimately improve our performance,” Diaz Salinas continued.

Beyond salmon and aquaculture feed - benefits for other sectors

“This tool isn’t designed only for farmed salmon, or even just aquaculture, we see it having critical impact across the animal protein production sectors, and even pet feed, that all share many of the same supply chains and risks. While GSI has taken the first step to develop and trial the tool, we will now be working with other WWF partners to expand its use,” added Miller.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) plans to incorporate the tool into its ASC Feed Standard certification process, the project leaders confirmed.

WWF, GSI, and Grieg Seafood have also jointly released a business case, Feed of the Future: Transparent and Traceable, detailing the new ESG tool's development and its application in improving feed production sustainability.

As the tool undergoes continuous updates based on user insights and annual amendments, it aims to foster innovation, reduce ESG risks, and support the sustainable sourcing of feed ingredients, the organisations said.

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