Walmart, State of Alaska Encouraged By Talks

By Margaret Bauman
Talks in Juneau this past week aimed at resolving
sustainability certifications issues over seafood between retail giant Walmart
and the state of Alaska have apparently proven fruitful, according to
spokespersons for both sides.
Generally, the talks boiled down to less of a discussion on
how to change Alaska’s Responsible Fisheries Management program and more of an
exchange of information to help Walmart feel comfortable with the program, said
Tyson Fick, communications manager for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
“We spent the day working to demonstrate RFM and Alaska’s
fish management is consistent with the principles outlined through the
multi-stakeholder sustainability consortium process,” said Fick. Walmart is a
member of The Sustainability Consortium, which provides sustainability related
information to its members
David Baskin, Walmart’s vice president of meat and seafood,
issued a statement saying that Sustainability Consortium,” Baskin said.
“Walmart has proudly sourced seafood from the state of Alaska for many years,
and we continue to do so. By working together to ensure the RFM program meets
TSC’s principles, we’ll continue to source quality seafood from Alaska for
years to come while also ensuring sustainable seafood is available to future
“Walmart remains committed to promoting worldwide seafood
sustainability,” he said. “We know that sustainable practices are not only
important to our business but to our customers as well.
“That’s way we have been engaged in open and transparent
dialogue with Alaska fisheries, suppliers, NGOs (non-governmental
organizations), industry experts and government,” he said.

Walmart executive came to Juneau at the invitation of Alaska
Gov. Sean Parnell. Representatives of the state, including ASMI, met earlier
with Walmart officials at the company’s headquarters in Arkansas.