A plant-based seafood certification program was recently launched by the World Sustainability Organization (WSO) and The Good Food Institute (GFI). The Friend of the Sea Gold Standard is a joint initiative that will help plant-based seafood companies certify their products according to sustainable certification criteria of the WSO’s Friend of the Earth agriculture standards—formally recognizing them as sustainable “seafood.” A comparable Golden Certification from WSO’s Friend of the Earth certification program has also been created for plant-based meat. Both standards aim to protect the environment by promoting more sustainable sources of protein and further boosting the growth of plant-based meat and seafood.
“Our standard, which is applicable for these products, is based on SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture systems) guidelines set by UN-FAO,” Paolo Bray, founder and director of the World Sustainability Organization, said. “Intensive agriculture practices contribute to the loss of agricultural and natural biodiversity, degrading ecosystems and causing a reduction in animal and plant species. Such activities are also resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions, among other concerns. The Friend of the Sea Golden Standard for plant-based seafood will assure consumers that products have been made by adopting sustainable practices without harming the environment.”
WSO operates globally in the sustainable certification sector with two major projects: Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth. To obtain the certification, companies must meet requirements such as a well organized environmental management procedure; a system to protect the ecosystem, with implementation of areas dedicated to the conservation of wild flora and fauna; and a reduction in the use of chemically synthetic substances according to the principles of organic or integrated agriculture.