ARLINGTON, VA — January 23, 2009 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Board of Directors adopted a new policy at its recent January meeting stating:

     FMI members support programs to promote a sustainable seafood supply.

     To achieve this goal, FMI encourages the following:

  1. Learn about the issues that relate to seafood sustainability and how they can be applied within companies.
  2. Utilize sustainable seafood resources available from FMI and others to educate company and store associates.
  3. Consider the sustainability of the seafood supply in the development of procurement policies.
  4. Explore sustainable seafood certification programs.

FMI will work in partnership with the seafood industry, environmental organizations and other experts to develop guidelines to promote the long-term viability of the world’s seafood supply.

     “The industry recognizes that sustaining the world’s fisheries is critical to preserving the environment. It is also essential that supermarkets provide customers the variety of seafood needed for a healthy diet,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and chief executive officer.”

     This policy grew out of an initiative by the FMI Sustainable Seafood Working Group, part of its Sustainability Task Force, formed in 2007 to identify issues that can be resolved on an industrywide basis.

     The Working Group is developing guidelines to help companies create seafood sustainability programs. It is seeking common standards and practices, consulting with groups such as the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, composed of the world’s leading environmental organizations.

     Posted on the FMI website are case studies of retailers that have partnered with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop seafood sustainability programs, and a 22-page list of resources, including seafood industry associations, certification programs, environmental groups and seafood sustainability experts (

FMI’s Broad Range of Sustainability Initiatives

The seafood initiative is one of many FMI sustainability policies and programs. Others include:

     FMI Carbon Footprint Project — A Sustainability Task Force working group is developing guidelines and a carbon footprint calculator for food retailers and wholesalers.

     FMI Policy on Plastic Bag Waste and Litter — Approved by the FMI Board of Directors in May 2008, this policy promotes comprehensive recycling programs, reusable shopping bags and other measures to reduce shopping bag waste (

     The Sustainability Opportunity for Retail and Wholesale Executives — This presentation explains the concept and its importance to food retailers and wholesalers. Companies can customize this document for internal use.

     Sustainability Starter Kit — Retailers and wholesalers can use this guide to integrate sustainability strategies throughout their business operations. It features practical tips, best practices, numerous examples of successful programs and a list of publications, experts, websites, organizations, conferences and other sources of sustainability information and guidance.

     Visit for a complete list of FMI’s sustainability resources, including extensive research on consumer attitudes about sustainability issues.