On 23rd September 2011, the ASC hosted its first outreach meeting for European retailers at Schiphol Amsterdam airport lead by its new CEO Chris Ninnes. Twelve European retailers from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands attended the meeting.
“Retail commitments are important for ASC to realise our goals. The ASC is my new mission. I want to use this meeting as a starting point for engaging with you as retailers” was the message from ASC’s new CEO Chris Ninnes.
Other speakers included Jose Villalon from WWF and Joost Oorthuizen director of IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative. WWF and IDH are the co-founders of the ASC. Aldin Hilbrands Senior Manager Product Integrity at Ahold presented his organisations’ approach to sustainable seafood.
The well-informed and relevant questions posed by the retailers present highlighted that European retailers are eagerly awaiting ASCs’ operational phase and the launch of its consumer facing label. During the valuable discussion the retailers voiced the need for practical tools and for clear and simple communication to help the them work with their supply chain. They also stressed the importance for realistic planning and solid information rather than promises. This meeting was a first positive step towards building trust between ASC and key retailers, creating confidence that that ASC can deliver on its objectives and provide value-add to the retail sector. A follow-up session will be organised to build on the momentum that was created during the meeting.