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Foodservice giant makes sustainable seafood commitment

Posting in Environment

First phase of pact with World Wildlife will unfold over next four years.

Sysco Corp., which operates more than 177 food service distribution operations, is the latest big grocery or restaurant business to team up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or sustainable seafood sourcing practices.

The Houston-based company specifically has committed to procuring the top 10 seafood types it sells from either fisheries that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or that are either under assessment by the council or working on improvement programs.

The sorts of seafoods that will be addressed under that commitment include tuna, clams, cod, pollock, shrimp, scallops, salmon, calmari, lobster and crab. These sorts of fish and seafood account for roughly 52 percent of all the seafood that Sysco sells.

Said Bill Fox, who is vice president and managing director of the WWF Fisheries Program:

"Commitments like this are essential if we hope to conserve healthy oceans. We are pleased by Sysco's visionary approach to improve its impact on the environment and sustainability of some of their most popular seafood products. This approach is good for the long-term success of Sysco's business and for our collective futures on the planet."

Two specific focuses of Sysco's efforts:

1) Work with tun suppliers that it hopes will result in MSC-certified tuna sources.
2) Work on mahi-mahi and spiny lobster improvement projects in Central and South America.

Sysco and WWF will work together with local governments and communities on plans that are not only beneficial for the long-term health of specific species but also for local businesses and suppliers, the two organizations said.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure