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OSLO – The on-going confusion around the testing for chemicals in textiles has taken another twist after a spokesperson for Oeko-Tex said the certifying body does not test for illegal bromated flame-retardants and biocides – chemicals that should not be present in Oeko-Tex certified items – because they are already banned substances. By Tone Skårdal Tobiasson from the Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE).
In addition to salmon, at least 35 other species of genetically modified fish are currently under development.
Scots MEP Struan Stevenson and Senior Vice President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee has responded to yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) to ban deep water trawling at depths below 200 metres saying that such a move would seriously harm the Scottish fishing industry.
Last month restaurant giant McDonald\'s USA announced that starting in February 2013 all of its 14,000 US locations would be exclusively serving fish bearing the iconic blue \"certified sustainable seafood\" label. We caught up with Kerry Coughlin, MSC Regional Director, Americas, to get her thoughts on the announcement. The decision by McDonald\'s USA comes on the heels of a similar roll-out of the MSC label in all European restaurants in 2011. The move is part of a ten-year sustainability plan which includes the sale of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and participation in the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef to improve the beef value chain. As one of America\'s top buyers of fish and with the influence that it has over the diet of the world\'s largest economy, the news is potentially a game-changer for the seafood landscape in the United States. First, congratulations on the news. This is a big step for MSC in North American markets, isn\'t it? It\'s huge. McDonald\'s serves over 25 million customers daily in the United States, so the sustainability impact of getting its entire fish supply chain certified to the globally recognised standard for sustainable wild-catch fishing is massive. McDonald\'s has also launched a media campaign that is expected to reach 30 million people, so the consumer awareness potential is considerable. We anticipate that this will provide some valuable inroads to the food service industry. In retail we\'ve seen major commitments to sourcing MSC certified products from big multinationals like Walmart and Target and regional chains like Big Y and Shaw\'s. When the big players make a bold sustainability commitment, it often leads others to follow suit, and we\'re hoping this is the case in food service. Without getting too technical, what does this all mean from a certification perspective? It means that all of the fish products sold at McDonald\'s in the US come from a fishery that has been verified by independent scientists as meeting the rigorous MSC standard, which covers three core principles: the health of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the ecosystem and the management system that oversees the fishery. McDonald\'s can communicate this to its consumers through the use of the MSC label because all of its restaurants have been certified to our Chain of Custody Standard for traceability. This means that the fish served at its restaurants can be tracked all the way through the supply chain to the MSC certified fishery. That could be a lot for the average consumer to digest. Do you think awareness about sustainable production and consumption is increasing in the US? I think that awareness is growing, but it can be difficult for most consumers to engage with sustainability on a scientific level because the issues are so complex. Both consumers and companies are voicing a demand for sustainable products, but the different criteria and indicators that constitute a healthy fish population are not simple. What\'s important is that consumers and the businesses we work with have trust in our system - that they have confidence that we have done our due diligence in developing a strong standard according to the best scientific knowledge, ensuring that certified products can be traced to sustainably managed fisheries. You mentioned that there have been some big companies committing to MSC certification. What do you think is driving this? There are a variety of reasons. Certainly there is recognition that consumers want to know more about the provenance of what they\'re purchasing, which raises expectations placed on businesses. But I also think there is a desire on the part of many businesses both to act as responsible corporate citizens and to secure their long-term supply of resources. Engaging with a standard that is credible and that can demonstrate sustainability impacts helps them to accomplish both of these goals. A commitment of this magnitude is not taken lightly. For McDonald\'s, it reflects a long-term strategy toward sustainable sourcing that would not be possible without the efforts of organisations such as the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and WWF, who work to improve sustainable fishing practices, and McDonald’s commitment to traceability in its supply chain. Before translating something like this to the consumer, it is important that companies have taken those big steps to make 100% certification possible. What else is on the agenda for MSC in the US? As I mentioned, we see this having knock-on effects in the food service sector and will look to work with other businesses to follow suit. We hope this catalyses a shift in the restaurant industry similar to what we are seeing in retail, such that consumers are given sustainable options and made aware of the importance of these options. Wild caught fish also play a big role in the supplement industry, so another one of our priorities is to promote the value of MSC certification for those supply chains. Kerry Coughlin is Regional Director for the Americas at the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Before joining MSC, she assisted the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington with strategic planning, civic and global engagement and lecturing. She also served as Communications Director to the Governor of Washington State and as associate director of a major nonprofit social service organization. Prior to her career in management, strategic communications and public affairs, Kerry was a journalist with numerous newspapers, wire services and magazines. She currently serves on the CityClub Board of Governors, Facing the Future Board of Directors, University of Washington Columns Magazine Advisory Committee, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs Visiting Committee, and University of Washington Advancement Advisory Group. Click here to read more about McDonald\'s commitment on the MSC website. Blog Settings Node reference: McDonald\'s to serve MSC certified fish across USA
FRANKFURT – The Oeko-Tex Association will present its new Sustainability Awards on 12 June 2013. Ecotextile News editor John Mowbray is among the judges for the awards, which will also mark the official start of the new Oeko-Tex \'Sustainable Textile Production’ (STeP) certification system, which will replace the current Oeko-Tex Standard 1000.
An article appearing in the February newsletter of Social Acccountability International reflects on the Indian workshop of the Credibility Principles and how the draft principles have echoed Tata\'s work to address social issues and labour rights. --Originally published here-- On December 5, 2012 in New Delhi, the ISEAL Alliance hosted a workshop on its upcoming Credibility Principles. The workshop featured some lively debates about what makes a credible standard system, and included the participation of Priyadarshini Sharma, Sr. Manager, Vice President (CS) Office, Tata Steel, SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh and SAI Training Manager Stephanie Wilson among 50 representatives from standard systems, capacity building organizations, businesses, certification bodies, investors, development agencies and government. As panelist at the event, Ms. Sharma noted that many themes from the proposed credibility principles have emerged in the steel works\' journey with the SA8000 Standard since its implementation and initial certification in 2004. These have served as building blocks to strengthen cross-functional participation and stakeholder engagement. She cited Tata Steel Managing Director, Mr. H.M. Nerurkar\'s address, made while receiving the second recertification in 2010, that standards were \"going to get more stringent with time and that organizations would have to continuously strive to keep raising their own bar to meet them.\" Ms. Sharma added, \"the ISEAL workshop to reflect on self-assessment, design and deliverables of voluntary standards, was a step in this direction.\" Two recent innovations at Tata Steel in the course of implementing SA8000 were also highlighted and summarized by Ms. Sharma, \"first, IBM, a Tata Steel strategic partner, factored Affirmative Action to engage the youth from tribal communities in its local work force through a global agreement. Second, Tata Steel incorporated an environmental check-list during vendor audits on the SA8000 clauses. The next steps were extending the management review to include human rights. Scalability, relevance, adaptability, and flexibility to connect across other systems are some of the evolutionary ways at the implementation end of the SA standard at Tata Steel.\" Tata Steel\'s journey with SA8000 was highlighted in the 2009 case study, \"From Words to Action: A Business Case for Implementing Workplace Standards\" and a chapter in the 2008 book, \"SA8000: The First Decade.\" Additionally, the 2010 publication, \"Tata Group: The Journey Towards an Ideal,\" captures a wide array of information about the Tata Group, and its initiatives and partnerships in the communities in which they operate. This article was written with contributions from Priyadarshini Sharma, Sr. Manager, Vice President (CS) Office, Tata Steel. For more information, contact SAI Communications Manager, Joleen Ong - JOng@sa-intl.org.
PORTLAND, Maine - An international organization has given its seal of approval to the Maine lobster fishery designating it as sustainable, Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced Sunday.