Santa Monica’s Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner (RSVP) Program
We created our Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner (RSVP) Program to collectively apply a percentage of our purchases towards projects we believe in strongly as a company
This unique program funds valuable work that builds trust with our customers, credibility in the industry and moves all of us toward a more sustainable future. The key to our program is participation; we’re not just talking about issues of sustainability - we’re actively involved in educating ourselves and our customers on current issues, as well as engaging directly in these issues.
One important use of RSVP funds is to invest in identifying, qualifying and verifying new (and existing) suppliers and to confirm that they share our commitment to food safety, supply integrity and sustainable practices. By traveling to the source of our supply we’ll be able to make honest assessments, and pass what we learn along to you.
A more secure future cannot be accomplished through our purchases alone and so this fund also helps to support fisheries programs around the world.
Keep reading to learn more about the projects we’ve supported with RSVP funds:
The Northwest Straits Initiative (NWSI) Derelict Gear Removal Program preserves fish stocks and local wildlife in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea by working to remove abandoned or lost fishing nets and crab/shrimp pots. It is important to remove “legacy” nets to prevent ghost fishing – the phenomenon of abandoned fishing gear continuing to ensnare wildlife. To date, the program has removed thousands of nets and crab/shrimp traps. Removal of lost gear helps prevent the loss of salmon, dungeness crab, bottom and forage fish, and other non-commercial wildlife – providing a benefit for local tribal fisheries as well as the thriving multi-species commercial fishery in the region.
Date Funded: 1/7/13 More Info
The Bird’s Head Leatherback turtle project is dedicated to the research, monitoring and conservation of the Pacific Leatherback sea turtle, a species labeled as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union’s IUCN red list. The BHL is located on the northwest coast of Papua Barat, Indonesia, one of the last strongholds for the Pacific Leatherbacks. BHL is committed to researching and monitoring the populations of leatherbacks that lay their eggs along the two main nesting beaches along the Bird’s Head Peninsula. The BHL strives to restore leatherback populations through research, conservation, and local community participation and education.
Date Funded: 11/1/12 More Info
The Seafood Summit is an annual international event designed to bring together the seafood community and encourage discussion and new partnerships to promote an industry shift towards economic, social and environmental sustainability. Traditionally held in Europe and North American, the Seafood Summit made a move to Hong Kong this year. Aptly themed “Evolving Solutions for New Horizons”, this year’s event focused on encouraging proposals to be more progressive and goal-oriented. Additionally, Hong Kong was a prime choice to represent Asia in the global seafood marketplace – almost 90% of all global aquaculture occurs in Asia, and China is the largest seafood exporter in the world.
Date Funded: 8/8/12 More Info
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), Gulf of California (GoC) Industrial Shrimp Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP)
The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s (SFP) Gulf of California (GoC) industrial shrimp ‘fisheries improvement project’ (FIP) is working to promote the use of gear that diminishes the environmental impacts of the yellowleg, pacific blue and whiteleg shrimp trawl fisheries. The GoC industrial trawl shrimp fishery in the northwest Pacific coast of Mexico is resulting in the wasteful discard of endangered sea turtles, totoaba (a sea bass found only in the GoC), and seahorses as well as having lasting impacts to seafloor habitats. The SFP industrial shrimp FIP is helping to reduce these negative impacts as well as encourage better management and regulation of the fishery from the Mexican government.
Date Funded: 3/19/12 More Info
Fish Reef Project
The Fish Reef Project is helping to restore damaged natural reef systems and turn empty seafloors into thriving marine ecosystems by introducing man-made reefs into the marine environment. The Fish Reef Project’s “reef balls” are designed to enhance communities of marine mammals, sea birds, turtles, fish, and invertebrates as well as provide eco-tourism and fishing opportunities. It has been estimated that 75% if the world’s reefs are damaged or in peril but thanks to the Fish Reef Project, new thriving temperate reef habitats are being created in Southern California.
Date Funded: 2/15/12
Trout Unlimited is one of the nation’s largest and oldest coldwater fisheries conservation organizations and is helping to conserve one of the last pristine freshwater habitats for wild salmon, Bristol Bay Alaska. Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye and king salmon runs in the world along with healthy runs of coho, pink, and chum salmon. Trout Unlimited has partnered with one of Alaska’s top fishery biologists, Dr. Carol Ann Woody to conduct essential research that documents, maps, and characterizes essential salmon habitats in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska which will inform best management practices and help to ensure a viable and sustainable wild salmon supply into the future.
Date Funded: 12/27/11 More Info
The California Collaborative Fisheries Research Project (CCFRP) utilizes the expertise of both scientists and fishermen to better understand the health of fish stocks and marine ecosystems in California. CCFRP is a collaborative effort among researchers from CA Sea Grant at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) and SLOSEA / Center for Coastal Marine Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as well as the captains and crew of 15 commercial and CPFV vessels in central California. For the past six years, CCFRP has been conducting collaborative fisheries projects on local commercially important species through collaborative hook and line tag and release surveys and commercial live trap fishery surveys. The species of interest include nearshore rockfish species, California halibut, cabezon, lingcod, ocean whitefish and Pacific bonito.
Date Funded: 9/28/11 More Info
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL)’s Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative (SAI) is helping to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of impoverished Haitian people by teaching responsible and sustainable tilapia aquaculture production methods in the Cormeir area of Haiti. Malnutrition has been a chronic problem in Haiti for many decades and through the efforts of this project Haitians are able to produce nutritious food to feed and support their families using the resources they have available to them.
Date Funded: 10/2/11 More Info
Makata, which means “Sea Guardian” in the local languages of Medange, was established to work with communities in Papua, New Guinea to restore and protect critically endangered leatherback turtles. Protecting nesting beaches and marine waters to enhance hatchling production, facilitating educational awareness programs, media campaigns, resource mapping, boundary surveys, tagging and monitoring projects and more are all part of this effort.
Date Funded: 7/26/11 Learn More
The Magdalena Bay Fishing Cooperative have worked to establish a Marine Protected Area to help declining abalone, spiny lobster and finfish populations that the local fishing cooperative depends on. Local fishermen were trained in scuba survey methodologies as part of the MPA’s recovery process, and ongoing involvement is aimed and helping these same fishermen establish a system for finding fair buyers of the catch and improve supply chain management.
Date Funded: 5/21/11, 8/25/12 Learn More
Heal The Bay is an environmental education program for teachers and K - 5 classrooms in Los Angeles County that focuses on watersheds, the storm drain system, environmental stewardship and more. The engaging program includes hands on activities and field trips for students along with no-cost professional development for teachers, and has a Sustainable and Safe Seafood section as part of the curriculum.
Date Funded: 2/25/11, 5/25/12 Learn More
The Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute is dedicated to providing effective solutions to conflicts that arise between human activity and the natural world. Focusing on stock replenishment, their aquaculture program investigates effective and innovative methods in breeding, hatching, rearing, and releasing fishes, and assessing the impact of aquaculture on the ecosystem. Several projects focusing on white seabass, striped bass and CA halibut are ongoing.
Dates Funded: 8/27/10, 12/29/10, 4/27/12 Learn More
The AKCRRAB program is an Alaska Sea Grant partnership conducting research aimed at hatching and rearing wild red and blue king crabs in a large-scaled hatchery setting. AKCRRAB’s mission is, in part, to develop strategies to rehabilitate the depressed wild king crab stocks in Alaska, through research and cutting edge hatchery technology with the goal of ensuring healthy stocks and the economic future of king crab fisheries.
Dates Funded: 8/13/10, 10/5/10, 10/13/11, 12/11/11, 10/11/12 Learn More
Operation Blessing is an International non-profit organization partnered with Caribbean Harvest, a Haitian charitable foundation to create a tilapia farming program providing food and sustainable income to Haitian families. Families receive a starting kit containing a floating cage, 2400 fingerlings and a four-month supply of fish food. Training and weekly oversight are also provided so that the tilapia will feed the families raising them as well as be sold commercially to provide extra income.
Date Funded: 7/23/10 Learn More
The Crab Council was created in 2008 and incorporated as part of National Fisheries Institute in 2009 to provide a common voice for US companies and suppliers committed to supporting producers and exporters worldwide and advancing sustainability efforts for blue swimming crab. The Council is composed of 11 US companies representing 60% of the market that sources blue swimming crab from Asia. The council has been working with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to encourage sustainable fishing practices in Indonesia and the Phillippines.
Date Funded: 5/21/10 Learn More
We’re constantly on the lookout for funding opportunities that will support sustainable practices and awareness in the seafood community. Visit our blog for current RSVP news!