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:
Trygg Mat Foundation - Combined IUU Vessel List
The Combined IUU Vessel list is a comprehensive list of international fishing vessels that are known participants in Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Trygg Mat compiles information gathered by 8 different Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), including information on ship names, ownership (and changes in ownership), flags and flag changes, International Maritime Organization number, radio call signs, and operating information. The Combined IUU Vessel List also tracks historical information pertaining to these vessels. The list serves to empower port authorities, who can use the updated information to deny listed vessels licenses, entry/docking, and port services, effectively combatting IUU fishing at the port level.
Date Funded: 6/1/13
Pfleger Institute of Environment Research (PIER) – California Swordfish Deep-Set Buoy Gear Development and Trials
Working in conjunction with NOAA, PIER is developing and testing an experimental gear type to be used in the swordfish fishery. Recent studies conducted on preferred depths that swordfish feed at have been used to design a type of gear that targets the fish at specific depths, minimizing bycatch concerns inherent to the longline fishery. This type of gear is already in use on the east coast, and may expand the current fishery into new areas that are currently off-limits due to bycatch concerns. Support of this project will ultimately ensure a greater supply of responsibly harvested local swordfish at a lower price than the harpoon fishery.
Date Funded: 6/1/13
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: 2/1