High Liner Foods Inc., Canada, achieved 99% of its goal to source all seafood from “certified-sustainable or responsible” fisheries and aquaculture. The company made a pledge in November 2010 to reach this goal by the end of 2013.

“Three years ago, we set an ambitious goal that fundamentally changed the way we do business, and I’m very proud that we’ve achieved 99% of that goal,” says Henry Demone, chief executive officer. “I applaud the efforts of our entire team, and particularly our corporate director of sustainability, Bill DiMento, and our sustainability council, procurement team and systems development team for giving us a tool to track raw material purchases.”

Of the eight major species of fish and shellfish that High Liner Foods purchases, it has achieved 100% of its goal for Atlantic cod, haddock, pollock, sole/flounder, Pacific cod and Pacific salmon. The company achieved 98% of its commitment for tilapia and 91% for shrimp. Combined, those species totaled 196 million pounds of product purchased in 2013. Among the species that don’t currently meet High Liner’s sustainability criteria are various species of squid, ocean perch and small wild shrimp.

“Together, with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and others within the NGO [non-governmental organization] community, High Liner Foods has assumed a leadership role in substantial fishery and aquaculture improvements around the world. From Day 1, our efforts have been focused on continuous improvements, and that commitment will continue,” DiMento says.

“The most powerful way to catalyze fishery improvements is through continuous buyer engagement in the process. High Liner Foods is a great example of an industry leader using its purchasing power to bring about real positive changes throughout its supply chain,” says Jim Cannon, chief executive officer of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, High Liner Foods’ NGO partner.

High Liner Foods’ ongoing commitment is that 100% of wild-caught or farmed products must meet the following criteria:

• They come from fisheries and aquaculture farms certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Global Aquaculture Alliance's (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC); or

• Those fisheries and farms not certified sustainable must be on a clear, defined path actively working toward certification and capable of documenting measurable improvements. High Liner Foods will continue to collaborate with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to achieve these objectives.

The 99% achievement figure does not include American Pride Seafoods LLC, which High Liner Foods acquired in October 2013 and will be integrating into its operations in 2014.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods named High Liner Foods its 2013 Frozen Foods Processor of the Year for leading the efforts in producing sustainable seafood, among other factors.