We have direct relationships with our customers, providing advice and services, and arranging local and regional customer conferences. Regular contact and technical reviews with customers ensure that we are well aware of and well positioned to attend to their specific needs and concerns. We also take part in customer associations, particularly the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) where we can engage with many parties at once. We are increasingly engaged with independent third party certification schemes for feed and seafood.
Suppliers of feed raw materials are of key importance to us. A particular priority has been working with suppliers of marine ingredients where quality, safety and nutrition, as well as sustainability of the fisheries stocks, are addressed. If suppliers are not compliant with our standards for ethics and corporate social responsibilities, we will as a first step work with the supplier to obtain improvements based on a supplier development plan.
The emergence of voluntary standards for feed and fish producers has impacts across the supply chain. Such standards are often promoted publicly and so become demanded by food service and retail sectors. We participate in meetings and conferences with supplier communities, e.g. fish oil and fishmeal producers, to further enhance responsible sourcing – with a special focus on efficient use of by-products. We also engage with key third party certification bodies to share knowledge and assist in the development of aquaculture standards. In 2017, we joined a a Fisheries improvement Project (FIP) in Peru, aiming to assist the transition of the fishery and fishmeal factories to the certification standards of IFFO RS and MSC.
Cargill Aqua Nutrition is represented on the Technical Committee for the development of the ASC feed standard, and regularly participates in IFFO meetings and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) roundtables on fishmeal and fish oil in Europe and South America. Furthermore, we engage with the organizations supplying certificates on soy and palm oil products, such as RTRS, ProTerra and RSPO. Within animal welfare, we are reconnecting with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the UK. We have previously assisted in the development of their RSPCA Assured (previously Freedom Food) standards, which are the highest welfare standards for farmed animals globally.
The NGO community working towards aquaculture is diverse, but focuses mainly on the impacts of raw material sourcing and application of feeds on farms. However, the number of NGOs working on social issues within aquaculture value chains is also increasing. Cargill Aqua Nutrition is selectively concentrating on those NGOs that seek constructive improvements in the industry. This includes wide groups of environmental organizations, labor organization and NGOs dedicated to other relevant topics.
We work with the development of industry standards based on multi-stakeholder involvement where various NGOs are represented. We work to promote social and economic wellbeing of the communities we serve. We work in various communities to ensure access to safe, nutritious, affordable food, to promote economic development, to improve education. We also engage our employees in our efforts to build vibrant, stable operating communities.