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 current projects we’re supporting with RSVP funds:
Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI) partnered with the fishing Cooperative of Magdalena Bay (CBM) and the non-profit recreational diving organization Reef Check to establish a 1,384.73 ha Magdalena Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2010. The MPA was established with the intention of recovering the declining abalone, spiny lobster, and finfish populations that the local cooperative depends on. The Reef Check Foundation trained the cooperative members in scuba survey methodologies to monitor and assess the recovery of the marine community within the reserve. Reef Check and COBI have furthered their involvement with CBM to help the fishermen involved to establish a fair market for their catch as well as to improve their supply chain management. The intention of this project is to create a new source of sustainably caught finfish and shellfish for Southern Californian and Mexican markets, to ensure the protection of the marine environment, and to benefit the communities of Magdalena Bay. As one of the oldest and strongest fishing cooperatives in Baja, CBM is setting an example of how ecologically beneficial practices will improve business and benefit the community. COBI continues to work with other Baja California fishing communities on establish voluntary marine reserves for the benefit of their resources.Learn more
SMS Donates Money to Humanitarian Effort
Slavery in the seafood industry, primarily in Thailand and Indonesia, has been THE hot topic in the news lately. Logan Kock, our VP of Responsible Sourcing, recently got wind of a humanitarian effort to rescue a group of 300 fishermen stranded on a few islands in Indonesia. These fishermen had been abandoned by fishing vessel captains who had tricked, kidnaped and imprisoned these impoverished people to live and work on their fishing vessels, sometimes for up to 6 years without returning to shore and typically to help support illegal fishing activities, until such time that they became malnourished and sick, at which time they are dumped on remote islands and left to die.
Logan convinced Michael Cigliano, our Executive VP, that Santa Monica Seafood should use its RSVP fund to wire money to Seafarers Action Center, a Labor Rights Promotion Network to support this humanitarian rescue effort to assist with emergency provisions of food, necessities and, in particular, medicine to help these victims of human trafficking. So, we did.
Santa Monica Seafood not only recognizes the extent to which this human slavery problem exists but also understands every member of the seafood supply chain bears responsibility to help bring it to an end. We urge fellow industry members to join us in the fight to end such inhumane practices.
The Ecology Center, a 1 acre nonprofit hands-on educational center based in nearby San Juan Capistrano, CA, is about to install an sample backyard aquaponics system demonstrating the potential for small-scale backyard aquaculture, sustainable seafood, and organic vegetable production. Located within their geodesic dome greenhouse, the system will contain a 200 gallon stock tank, carry 100 tilapia (of the non-Nile variety), water pump, heating system, biological filter and vegetable growing beds. Throughout the year, they will be holding seasonal educational workshops on backyard aquaculture/aquaponics and sustainable seafood. This program will help bring a greater awareness of sustainable seafood to the public, and can help show how aquaculture is a necessary system for producing food in the future, on both a local and global scale.Learn more
Despite the many values of Bristol Bay, it still faces real threats from a proposed mining development in the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s most productive salmon rivers and lakes. Trout Unlimited, one of the nation’s largest and oldest coldwater fisheries conservation organizations, along with local Bristol Bay Native tribes and corporations, commercial salmon fishermen, seafood processors, and others around the country are working together to ensure that Bristol Bay’s fishery gets the protection that it deserves so that future generations may enjoy this irreplaceable source of healthy and delicious wild salmon.
Some of Trout Unlimited’s research projects helped document, map, and characterize essential salmon habitats in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska (near the Lake Clark National Park & Preserve) and helps guide state and federal agencies in their management of Bristol Bay’s fisheries and protection of critical salmon habitat into the future.Learn more