Seiyu Becomes First Retailer to Endorse BAP Certification
Friday, March 27, 2020, 16:50 (GMT + 9)
Tokyo – Seiyu, GK (a Japanese subsidiary of Walmart Inc.) became the first retailer in Japan to introduce the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification to its product line. The BAP-certified “Salad Shrimp” becomes available at 181 Seiyu stores nationwide today, Thursday, March 26th. In addition to the introduction of the BAP certification, the company is expanding third-party certified seafood products, introducing ten MSC and ASC certified products as part of its efforts to promote sustainable seafood. The initiative was supported by Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd., a consulting firm based in Tokyo that specializes in sustainable seafood.
Aligning with its parent company, Walmart Inc., Seiyu is committed to providing food products that adhere to higher standards of safety, sustainability, and affordability. With the global seafood industry facing issues of resource conservation and social and environmental responsibility, Seiyu decided to expand its range of seafood products with BAP and other certifications such as MSC and ASC.
Ning Gu, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Seiyu, GK, who manages Seiyu’s sustainability initiatives commented below.
“Walmart is globally promoting sustainable sourcing. Aligning with Walmart, Walmart Japan/Seiyu is also promoting to increase sustainable seafood products as one of the strategies of our seafood department. This is just a first step we are taking in this area, but we hope that this would be a good opportunity for our customers in Japan to learn about sustainable seafood and to purchase our sustainable products first-hand.”
In addition, as women continue to advance in society in Japan, sales are growing for semi-cooked products that require only baking or frying. Seiyu is introducing BAP, MSC, and ASC certified seafood products with a focus on these popular items.
“Global overfishing is a threat to marine ecosystems, the seafood industry, and coastal fishing communities. We congratulate Seiyu's initiative and leadership to assess its procurement and expand its offerings to third-party certified sustainable seafood. As a major retailer in Japan, Seiyu's efforts are of great significance as contributions to Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 14,” said Wakao Hanaoka, CEO of Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd. “I look forward to Seiyu continuing its work to ensure that customers have a broader range of sustainable and responsible purchasing options,” Hanaoka added.
Steve Hart, Vice President Asia Market Development of Global Aquaculture Alliance, said, “Sustainable seafood sourcing practices are critical to assure the future supply of seafood, and nowhere is this more important than Japan, a nation with a long, established seafood culture. By sourcing BAP-certified shrimp, Seiyu has committed to the four pillars of the BAP program: environmental, social welfare, food safety, and animal health. BAP certification verifies that the processing plant, farms, hatchery and feed mill all have policies and practices in place that meet the current best available science to assure compliance to the four pillars, as well as confirmation with a traceability program.”
Walmart is committed to sustainably source 20 key commodities by 2025. Likewise, Seiyu has been supporting domestic fisheries through the fishery improvement project (FIP) to promote sustainable fisheries. Part of its efforts includes grant funding for the Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP and sales of the albacore tuna at its 21 locations in the Kanto region.
Under the “Global Responsibility” initiatives led by its parent company, Walmart Inc., Seiyu GK has three priority areas of “Opportunity,” “Environment,” and “Community.” With a view to addressing social and environmental issues, the company has been leading sustainability and social contribution activities through collaboration with its customers, business partners, NGOs, and local municipalities.
One of its ultimate goals for “Environment” is to “sell products that sustain people's lives and the environment.” Seiyu is promoting various sustainability initiatives such as expanding certified seafood products, sustainably sourcing materials (palm oil, pulp & paper and etc.) and switching to sustainable packages for our private brand products including “Minasamano Osumitsuki(Chosen By You).”