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First ever dual certified MSC and Fair Trade seafood comes to market
02/16/2017 - 9:06 AM

Horizon Fisheries, Blueyou Trading and Fair Trade USA have partnered to launch the first ever seafood product, canned skipjack tuna, that carries both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Fair Trade Certified labels.

Fishing communities from four islands in the Maldives, which have caught skipjack tuna using traditional pole and line gear for centuries, are now receiving this unique recognition for being both sustainably managed and socially equitable.

The fishery, which encompasses fishing communities from four islands includes a fleet of 25 family-owned pole and line vessels that are based in the Laam Atoll in the Southern part of the Maldives, has been MSC certified since 2012 and has now also met the social criteria for Fair Trade Certification.

“We are proud to be the first MSC certified fishery to now also carry Fair Trade Certified label, which reflects our company’s policy and long standing commitment towards a socially responsible and fair partnership with fishermen, island communities and our factory workers in the Maldives,” said Adnan Ali, managing director of Horizon Fisheries in the Maldives, the local project partner and exclusive manufacturer of the Fair Trade tuna.

The Fair Trade project was developed in joint partnership with Blueyou Trading, the global trading and service company behind Selva Shrimp.

For every Fair Trade Certified canned tuna product sold, a 3 percent premium goes directly back to the fishermen for investment in important community projects, like education, improved access to drinking water, and healthcare.

“Our objective with Fair Trade has been to recognize the unique dedication of Horizon Fisheries to work with traditional coastal tuna fisheries and partner with local communities for value chain improvement," said René Benguerel, managing director of BlueYou Trading. "The fishermen are landing their catch right at the factory’s jetty where tuna is being processed into cans -- this is as direct and transparent a tuna supply chain can get.”

The tuna is processed by the company’s 845 permanent and temporary workers and exported to markets in Europe and North America.

Certified products will first be launched in Germany and Switzerland by the German company Followfood under its brand followfish in early 2017.

The dual certified products can also be expected in the United States in time, as more fishers become involved and volumes continue to grow. Blueyou and Horizon have secured an agreement with Rema Foods, the leading importer of private label canned tuna in the

United States.

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