Increasing the availability of responsibly produced seafood isn’t just about supermarkets and restaurants – and in Japan, a growing number of organisations are providing their employees with the option to choose certified seafood in company cafeterias.

Panasonic was an early adopter of responsibly sourced seafood in Japan, first introducing ASC and MSC certified food at its head office in Osaka Prefecture in 2018, expanded to 42 locations as of end of March 2020, and aiming the total of 100 locations by March 2021.

Now it’s going one step further and setting up a network to help more catering and distribution companies achieve ASC certification, allowing more workers to choose seafood that was produced with minimal environmental and social impacts. The move also enables the companies involved to contribute to Goal 14 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

To provide ASC or MSC certified seafood, distributors or caterers must acquire Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. This requires them to demonstrate that they will keep certified products separate from non-certified products, meaning consumers can be sure that their seafood really did come from a responsibly managed farm or fishery. So far Panasonic has helped 11 catering companies to acquire CoC certification, allowing even more companies to provide certified seafood to their workers.

Now Panasonic is teaming up with other organisations that are increasing their commitment to serving responsible seafood such as Denso, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tamura Corporation and other large corporations. These companies are forming a network so they can work together to source and disseminate certified seafood – and importantly it will also support small and medium-sized food distributors to become certified and facilitate operations. Having been through the sustainability journey themselves, Panasonic is well placed to guide others who want to do the same but aren’t sure where to start.

“Collaboration is an important principle for ASC so we’re delighted to see Panasonic and others work together to help spread the benefits of certified seafood,” said Koji Yamamoto, ASC Japan General Manager. “Panasonic is a pioneer and a great leader of this new segment of sustainable seafood movement in Japan that rewards responsible farmers who are minimising their environmental and social impacts.”

More information about Panasonic’s decades of collaboration work with WWF Japan on protecting marine biodiversity and their work around their employee cafeterias can be found on their Youtube page. The company also won the Initiative Award Champion at the inaugural Japan Sustainable Seafood Award.

For other companies looking to get involved in the ASC programme, there is plenty of advice and guidance on the ASC website – whether you are a farmer looking to get certified, interested in Chain of Custody certification, or simply want to find a certified farm or supplier.

Published on
Tuesday, 21 April 2020
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