Bringing Sustainable Seafood to Indonesian Customers: Super Indo Improves its Aquaculture Supply Chain
Sustainability is a relatively new concept in Indonesia. As a result, many government and private initiatives here involve educating producers and consumers about the importance of sustainable practices. At this nascent stage, we wanted to focus Super Indo’s own sustainability efforts in areas where we could encourage significant changes in both public and industry behavior.
Given that seafood is a staple of the local diet and a critical part of the economy, improving the sustainability of the country’s aquaculture industry offered that opportunity. Aquaculture practices – from the use of ecologically sensitive coastal land to the production and disposal of waste – can pose environmental and public health risks when done in an unsustainable manner.
Many of our customers and seafood suppliers aren’t aware of the importance of sustainability, and we feel it’s our responsibility to educate them.
Division Head of Buying Perishable, Super Indo
Although we are still at the beginning of this journey, by the end of 2015 we had made significant progress, including implementing sustainable aquaculture guidelines for Super Indo’s sourcing, assessing our suppliers’ practices and supporting the national government’s efforts to create an aquaculture sustainability certification program.
Critical first steps
In 2014, we finalized our sustainable seafood policy – created in partnership with our aquaculture suppliers and sustainability experts – to provide guidelines regarding appropriate feed sources, land usage, and the use of antibiotics and chemicals. We put this policy into action in 2015 by evaluating our suppliers against these guidelines.
Our goal was to identify ways to make a significant and immediate impact. For example, we took an important step by requesting confirmation that our salmon suppliers receive a Global GAP certification. If suppliers could not confirm that they had received the certification, we stopped sourcing from them. This move covered more than 40% of the seafood sales in our stores.
At the same time, we began encouraging Indonesian suppliers to improve their aquaculture operations. This is important, but challenging work, because Indonesian customers are not yet demanding sustainable seafood. “We must convince suppliers to change their practices and renovate their farms to become more sustainable because it is better for business in the long run, even though there may not be large demand for it now,” Junaedi says.
A long-term vision
While working with suppliers, we also have been collaborating with the Indonesian government and our farmers to help develop an aquaculture version of a sustainability certification program, IndoGAP (CBIB), which is used by Indonesian agricultural producers.
Our initial efforts are focused on aquaculture because we have better visibility into the farmed seafood supply chain, which can help us affect significant change more quickly.
“We’re on the right track,” says Junaedi. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we believe the goal of creating a more sustainable seafood supply chain that benefits suppliers, customers and the planet is well worth it.”