By Nicole Di Tomasso
TORONTO — During this year’s Terroir Symposium, held over two weeks (Nov. 8 to 10 and 15 to 17), Isabella Sulpizio, senior accounts specialist of Eastern Canada at Ocean Wise, spoke about the Ocean Wise Seafood Program and its role to ensure access to sustainable seafood across the entire supply chain.
The Ocean Wise Seafood Program was created in 2005 by a scientist from the Vancouver Aquarium and a chef from a Vancouver restaurant. The program was the first of its kind in Canada, and it was designed to educate customers about sustainable-seafood options at restaurants. Starting with 16 restaurants, the program quickly became an international sustainable-seafood program. Currently, Ocean Wise partners with more than 700 businesses in more than 10 countries.
“Our approach is to work with businesses all along the seafood supply chain. We work to connect these businesses together in a sustainable-seafood network, with the ultimate goal of making access to sustainable seafood as simple and easily identifiable choice for everyone along this chain,” said Sulpizio. “We start at the beginning by partnering directly with harvesters as well as aquaculture producers, all the way through to different processors. We also work closely with distributors and suppliers. In this space, [suppliers and distributors] are the key players because they’re able to provide seafood lists to large volumes of businesses.”
Additionally, Ocean Wise works with retailers and restaurants to make sure they’re indicating to customers which options are a sustainable choice.
“As a chef-based program, chefs are also a key element in the supply chain because they have influence and power. What a chef puts on a menu can help drive new food trends like sustainable seafood and make a positive change in the industry,” says Sulpizio.