MarinTrust Workshops on Social Criteria

Standards cannot remain static as they need to remain relevant and robust to meet changes in legislation and the changing needs of a constantly evolving market. Therefore, MarinTrust is required to revise its main standard at least once every 5 years. The next version (Version 3) is due for release this year. Workshops provide a helpful way for MarinTrust to explain proposed changes and obtain feedback on how these may impact on certificate holders and applicants.

A first series of workshops held in August 2021 looked into the proposed new technical clauses / areas of the standard. MarinTrust’s second series of workshops held in November 2021 focused on developing enhanced social responsibility criteria in the upcoming version 3 of the standard.

Human rights are now, quite rightly, a key pillar in all sourcing policies, which is why v2.0 of the MarinTrust main factory standard includes criteria on social accountability as a part of one of the three pillars of the standard, responsible production.

As we move through the process of developing version 3 of the MarinTrust factory standard, we need to ensure these criteria remain fit for purpose and to also start to consider the human rights of the people onboard the vessels supplying whole fish in to fish meal plants.

The November 2021 workshops addressed the following topics:

  • Social responsibility on vessels supplying whole fish

The MarinTrust fishery assessment currently requires that “vessels operating in the fishery adhere to internationally recognised guidance on human rights. They must also commit to ensuring there is no use of enforced or unpaid labour in the fleet(s) operating upon the resource.” It is proposed to include social responsibility within the V3 Pre-requisite requirements. This would cover the employment of workers on board fishing vessels supplying whole fish to MarinTrust facilities.

  • Collection of metrics on social performance

The collection of performance indicators helps demonstrate the impact of the MarinTrust certification scheme through all certificate holders’ actions as well as allow for continuous improvement.

  • Social accountability clauses for the factory

The outcomes from these workshops will be presented later this month (January 2022) to the MarinTrust Social and Ethical Committee (SEC), which includes IFFO Members and external experts, to make decisions on what is feasible and what should be piloted in differing regions of the world, prior to any final recommendations being made by the SEC to the MarinTrust Governing Body Committee later in the year, which in turn will be prior to the mandatory 60-day public consultation.