Finding reliable, sustainable sources of fresh seafood is a big challenge but at Avendra, we’ve made sourcing sustainable seafood options one of our top priorities for 2016. As part of this initiative, Avendra’s Director of Strategic Sourcing, Jocelyn Totty, traveled to Chile to meet with sustainable salmon farmers, where she got a firsthand look at what makes these farms unique and their product as fresh and environmentally responsible as possible.
In the southern port city of Puerto Montt, Jocelyn visited a salmon farm, which is certified sustainable by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). These farms focus on making the salmon pens safe for outside wildlife and humane and stress-free for the fish inside. An ASC-certified farm pledges to avoid the dangerous, overcrowded conditions found in many traditional farms, while ensuring the pens pose no risk to other animals, like sea lions or dolphins.
“These salmon are very well-cared for,” Jocelyn observed, while also noting the efficiency of the Chilean processing plant (also ASC certified), which typically gets the freshly harvested fish to the U.S. within two days.
Unlike somewhat nebulous buzzwords like “natural” or “healthy,” a certified sustainable seafood source is a rare and valuable commodity. The certification process ensures true traceability (thus avoiding the dreaded “bait and switch”) and guarantees a safe, environmentally responsible product for the hospitality industry and its guests. At Avendra, we’ve chosen to champion sustainable seafood and plan to expand our supplier offerings to include certified sustainable sources.
Jocelyn has a good deal more travel ahead of her as part of this quest, but she believes (as we all do!) this on-the-ground, in-person approach is simply the best way to introduce the Avendra difference and build the supplier relationship. Stay tuned for more on our 2016 sustainability initiatives, as we work on enhanced reporting and tracking for customer certified sustainability spending.