GAPP CEO is the new member of GSA’s Board of Directors

Craig Morris will transfer what he has learned in his last five years at Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers to his new role on the Global Seafood Alliance Board of Directors.
Craig Morris is the CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP). From now on, he will combine this with his new position as a member of the Global Seafood Alliance Board of Directors.

Craig Morris is the CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP). From now on, he will combine this with his new position as a member of the Global Seafood Alliance Board of Directors.

Photo: courtesy of Craig Morris.

This week we learned Craig Morris, CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) had been appointed to the Board of Directors of the seafood certification group Global Seafood Alliance (GSA). We ask him about this new role - which he will combine with his current position at GAPP - but especially, about what his contribution to the organization will be.

Five years of expertise and success at GAPP

When our sister publication, WeAreSeafood, spoke with Craig Morris last year in Barcelona at Seafood Expo Global 2023, the GAPP CEO said that Wild Alaska Pollock had been a fish hidden in plain sight for far too long and that when he joined the Alaska Genuine Pollock Producers Association back in 2019, it was precisely to change that.  His mission was GAPP's mission, and that was to create that awareness and demand globally.

Four years later - five years to the day - results supported his work and the GAPP message was having a real impact on demand. One example: the influencer campaign they ran in 2022 with PR firm Ketchum that got followers who viewed the content to buy 275% more Wild Alaska Pollock than the previous year, but more importantly, got them to order it by name.

Before the campaign, many people already consumed this fish but did so without being aware of it. Then they specifically asked for it. As Morris explained at the time, a unique feature of the Wild Alaska Pollock is that promotional campaigns don't try to scale up. They can't. They can only harvest what they can harvest sustainably, and they are committed to that, so what do they gain? Value. "If they see Wild Alaska Pollock on the package, they'll pay a premium for it."

Why do we remember this when talking about Craig Morris' appointment at GSA? Because this example illustrates very well the expertise of the new member of its Board of Directors to market a certification. As he has explained to us, his experience with the Wild Alaska Pollock label may well be useful for the Best Seafood Practices label. A label can make all the difference when paying for or just choosing a product.

Aquaculture and wild capture interests at the GSA table

As Morris explains to WeAreAquaculture, the Global Seafood Alliance has a long and rich history as an international non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting responsible practices in the seafood industry through education, advocacy, and third-party assurance. However, as its new Board Member points out, to date, most of its work has been in the aquaculture sector - not surprisingly, the origin of the current GSA was the GAA, the Global Aquaculture Alliance - so its experience in the wild seafood sector is much more limited.

Over the past two years, GSA has worked to expand its relevance and services to the wild-caught seafood sector in several ways. It has done so, for example, by incorporating topics of interest to participants in the wild-caught seafood sector into its flagship event, the Responsible Seafood Summit, but also by expanding its third-party organic certification programs to include wild-caught seafood as well. Thus, in addition to the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Seafood Alliance now offers two other programs: the Seafood Processing Standard (SPS) and the Best Seafood Practices (BSP).

"As GSA has worked to expand their experience with, and relevance to, the broader seafood industry that includes both farmed and wild-caught seafood, they have worked to diversify the representation of their Board of Directors to have both aquaculture and wild capture interests at the table," Morris explains us.

"As such, given that Alaska Pollock is the most consumed wild-caught seafood on the planet and sourced from the largest certified sustainable fishery on earth, GSA reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to serve on their Board of Directors," he continues.

Carrying learnings from GAPP to the GSA

As we already know, the CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers accepted the invitation. So far, the new Board Member has only one meeting in his tenure, but he is very clear about what his contributions can be while serving on the GSA Board of Directors. From his view, they can be divided into two categories. On the one hand, as we have already mentioned, he brings considerable experience in a large-scale capture fishery operating under existing third-party organic certification programs, and, he claims, "that experience should help guide GSA’s entry into this space."

However, it is in the second category where he believes his experience is even more valuable. "The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers is, in my humble opinion, one of the most member-led, effective, and well-run non-profit organizations in all of the global seafood industry," he says.

"I have the privilege of working for some of the seafood industry’s greatest minds and leaders who serve on the GAPP Board of Directors and I’d like to carry these learnings from my past five years with GAPP into this new role of serving on the GSA Board of Directors to ensure that the same governance, strategic planning, and support for the executive leadership team best practices that we have at GAPP are carried over to GSA as well."

The last question for Craig Morris is how his participation on the GSA Board of Directors helps the GAPP or the U.S. wild-caught Alaska pollock industry. "I believe that all boils down to ensuring that as GSA works to provide choice in the wild-capture seafood eco certification space that the choice is provided by an organization that at its highest levels understand the unique needs and intricacies of our industry and that any services provided are being done so by an organization that is beyond reproach from a governance perspective," he tells us.

About the Global Seafood Alliance

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., U.S., the Global Seafood Alliance is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy, and third-party assurances. Its work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility, from environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety.

The organization has become the leading provider of assurances for seafood globally through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices, Best Seafood Practices, and Seafood Processing Standard certification programs.

Related Stories

No stories found.