Increased seafood supply chain disclosure could boost profit

By Becci Knowles
Financial benefits to be gained from sustainable sourcing and enhanced disclosure - François Mosnier, Head of the Oceans Programme, Planet Tracker

An investigation by Planet Tracker, the non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries, has found that an increase in seafood sustainability matched with greater supply chain disclosure could improve the health of the world's oceans while boosting the profitability of major retailers.

In its latest report, "How retailers can be sustainable and profitable in seafood," the think tank highlights how retailers can use its Seafood Sustainability Protocol to assess the sustainability of their seafood products so as to "establish the link between sustainability and profitability."

"Food retailers hold immense power when it comes to the sustainability of our oceans," says François Mosnier, Head of the Oceans Program at Planet Tracker. "Anyone buying and selling seafood can make a positive impact by channelling demand out of unsustainable farming and overexploited wild stocks into sustainable management and production. Besides being the right thing to do, it's the business-smart thing to do. Our report found significant financial benefits to be gained from sustainable sourcing and enhanced disclosure."

 

"Food retailers hold immense power when it comes to the sustainability of our oceans," says François Mosnier, Head of the Oceans Program at Planet Tracker. "Anyone buying and selling seafood can make a positive impact by channelling demand out of unsustainable farming and overexploited wild stocks into sustainable management and production. Besides being the right thing to do, it's the business-smart thing to do. Our report found significant financial benefits to be gained from sustainable sourcing and enhanced disclosure."

Seafood Sustainability protocol

Planet Tracker based its findings on a case study with French supermarket giant Carrefour, one of the world's largest food retailers, which analysed over 4 million non-publicly available data points on seafood purchases from its French sites.

While demonstrating a positive performance or progress on 11 out of 13 key indicators set out by the Seafood Sustainability Protocol, Carrefour was also found to be generating some of its lowest profitability margins on sales of the most overfished species.

According to Planet Tracker the results showed that increased seafood supply chain disclosure, rather than being a cost for retailers, could instead lead to a significant increase in profit for Carrefour.

Four actions to enhance sustainability

The report calls on seafood retailers to take four actions to enhance the sustainability of their supply chains, including determining "what stage they are at in the seafood sustainability journey" and implement sustainable strategies to make further progress. It also calls on retailers to improve the transparency of their seafood supply chains, including setting a time-bound target on full seafood traceability. Retailers should then track and report their progress over time.

The Carrefour case study was conducted in collaboration with BNP Paribas AM and the firm's ESG Analyst and Biodiversity Lead, Robert-Alexandre Poujade, described overfishing as a "socio-environmental threat that the general public is aware of, but investors have not taken enough steps to understand."

The report urges investors to engage with the companies they fund to demand greater seafood supply chain disclosure, changes to seafood sourcing policies towards more sustainable options, and the setting of "time-bound targets on seafood traceability."

 

About Planet Tracker

Planet Tracker is an award-winning non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries. Created with the vision of a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, resilient, nature positive and just economy well before 2050, Planet Tracker generates break-through analytics that reveal both the role of capital markets in the degradation of our ecosystem and show the opportunities of transitioning to a zero-carbon, nature positive economy.


About  François Mosnier

François brings more than 10 years of experience working across finance, nature conservation and sustainable farming. Prior to joining Planet Tracker, he was a financial analyst at Exane BNP Paribas and Capital Group, and a conservation finance specialist at Conservation Capital.


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