Reducing Risk & Driving Change

Reducing Risk through action

What is seafood supply chain due diligence?

In the past, supply chain due diligence was focused on logistics, prices, and food safety. Buyers would ask questions to see if the vendor would be a good fit for providing the products needed. Nowadays, the term due diligence is often about how a company is reducing risk in terms of forced labor or other social issues. 

More formally, seafood supply chain due diligence is defined as a systematic and ongoing risk management process that enables companies to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for their actual and potential adverse environmental and human rights impacts, and responsibly conduct business.

FishWise consults businesses on improving their supply chain sustainability and is a leading NGO in the sustainable seafood movement. FishWise recommends an ongoing 5-step implementation process through its framework model shown below:

seafood supply chain due diligence (FishWise)

Lusamerica’s Seafood Supply Chain Due Diligence

Click the tab title below to reveal how Lusamerica is implementing its sustained seafood due diligence program:

Embedding Due Diligence into the Onboarding Process

Lusamerica has a robust Supplier Approval Policy it undertakes with all new and active suppliers. While the focus is primarily on food safety and quality, the onboarding requirements incorporate traceability and human rights components. Repositrak is the cloud-based system we use to ensure all documents are completed and active with our supplier vendors.

Supplier Profile Questionnaire:

  • Can the vendor trace back to the boat or farm? How?
  • Are they audited for social compliance and by whom?
  • Confirm compliance with the Food Bioterrorism Act of 2002
  • Do they have an Allergen Control Program?
    • What is their Pest Control Program?
    • Do they conduct product testing?
    • Plus, additional requirements for imported fish
  • HACCP Compliance Letter and HACCP Plan (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points)
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Letter of Continuing Guarantee
  • Supplier Indemnity Agreement
  • Recall Letter of Acknowledgement
  • Product Composition Change Letter of Agreement
  • PFAS Declaration
  • 3rd Party Audit Certificates or Regulatory Letter
  • Letter of Continuing Guarantee
  • Social Compliance Commitment Acknowledgement
    • Endorsing our stance on human rights and communicating that we do not tolerate seafood that has been produced or processed using slavery, human trafficking, or child labor and that federal, state, and local laws must be followed.

Other Lusamerica activities to embed due diligence include:

  • Promoting sales on their local seafood program that is completely transparent and direct via their dock in Monterey Bay and through direct partnerships with fishermen in California, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Lusamerica’s Sustainability Policy is published publicly on Lusamerica.com.
  • Sustainability trainings are held with owners, buyers, sales reps, and merchandisers.

Supply Chain Data Collection and Assessment

Lusamerica uses “SAP” for its in-house traceability system which allows tracking of key data elements for every individual batch of seafood that is bought, processed, and sold. SAP is a widely used enterprise resource planning (ERP) software used by an array of companies including Apple, Amazon, Walmart, Burger King, and BMW. Lusamerica uses SAP to collect supply chain data points including:

  • scientific name
  • country of origin
  • country of processing
  • FAO catch area
  • fishing or rearing method
  • data for any applicable eco-certification and fishery improvement projects (chain of custody codes, farm codes, plant codes, hatchery codes, feed codes, FIP names, and FIP participants)

Sustainability reports are pulled and assessed for key customers on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis through our customized SAP software.

Lusamerica is also utilizing Trace Register (TR5) which is a third-party traceability system that is compliant with the Global Dialogue of Seafood Traceability (GDST). The GDST is both a movement and a mechanism for transforming the sustainability of global seafood supply chain through digital traceability. 

Here are just some of the ways Lusamerica engages with its suppliers, partners, and local communities:

  • Lusamerica is engaging deeper with suppliers in priority species groups such as tuna and farmed salmonids. Fish feed and plant details are being collected for key farmed salmonid suppliers (Atlantic salmon and farmed steelhead trout) and vessel level data is being collected for key tuna suppliers.

 

  • Lusamerica engages with two non-competitive partnerships outside of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. One is the Coalition for Sustainable Aquaculture, and the other is the Global Tuna Alliance.
    • During a recent conference, Peter Adame, Lusamerica’s Communications & Sustainability Director, shared how he engaged directly with Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) delegates in person at the 101st session of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commissions (IATTC) in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. The trip was financially powered by PEW Charitable Trusts and allowed Peter to observe the meeting as a part of the Global Tuna Alliance’s delegation. While in Victoria, Peter advocated for conservation proposals to various representatives from countries Lusamerica sources to strengthen the international management of tuna.

 

  • Lusamerica engages its local communities through partnerships with small-scale day boats via their dock in Moss Landing Harbor. Lusamerica also partners with food banks via its partnership with the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust.
    • Lusamerica started leasing its own dock in 2020. There was some initial concern from small-scale fishermen who were skeptical of Lusamerica focusing too much of their energy on larger vessels. Progress has been made over the years to build relationships and in 2022, 95% of the vessels offloaded at their dock were from small-scale day boats.
    • Grenadier is an underutilized local fish that has been the perfect species to engage local food banks via the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust’s Community Seafood Program. The Fisheries Trust raises funds and uses the money to purchase from seafood suppliers like Lusamerica who are working with local fishermen. In turn, Lusamerica processes and distributes the local seafood to various food banks in the region like Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank for Monterey County. Utilizing grenadier in the Community Seafood Program makes fishing more viable to our black cod fishermen who catch grenadier as bycatch and traditionally are unable to sell the fish as a market doesn’t exist for it. The low cost of the fish allows the Trust to stretch their funds into more meals and the food banks are grateful to serve a healthy, tasty protein to those in need.

Our Actions Show Our Commitment

  • Lusamerica has set up sustainability reports within their existing SAP system to produce key data elements on any seafood for any customer as needed. Many are already produced on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.
  • Sustainability reports inform our Sustainability Director who works with our buyers to phase out red-rated seafood and provide support by providing leads of potential new suppliers.
  • In addition to their in-house traceability software, SAP, Lusamerica has also upgraded to Trace Register 5 which is a third-party traceability system that is compliant with the Global Dialogue for Seafood Traceability (GDST).
  • The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions has served as an excellent resource to stay in the loop on the latest conservation tools, watchdog reports, and relevant resources. Lusamerica utilizes the following free resources and platforms to cross-check against their sourcing data.

example of sustainability communicationsGet the Word Out, its OK to over Communicate

  • Lusamerica peppers stories of progress throughout its social media channels including Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, X, and YouTube.
  • Internally, Lusamerica highlights a “Seafood of the Week” to all staff which is an ongoing marketing and education campaign that incorporates sustainability info along with sales points, nutrition facts, and culinary tips.
  • Lusamerica’s Sustainability Policy is published publicly on Lusamerica.com.
  • Lusamerica advocates to regional fisheries management organizations each year with the support of the Global Tuna Alliance to push for better management of yellowfin tuna. See a video from one of our advocacy campaigns. 
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About Lusamerica

Family, woman and minority owned since 1975 distributing seafood to the Western United States and beyond.

Tel: (408) 778-7200  |  toll free: (800) 974-6622  |  email: info@lusamerica.com

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