How One Salmon Industry Group Helps Its Members Live Up to Higher Standards

While some assume that only strict governmental oversight can keep businesses in check, there are many stories of successful, voluntary self-regulation, as well. The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), for example, arose from a shared commitment among its members to raising the bar regarding salmon production. In a very short time, that group has helped establish widely observed standards that make farmed salmon safer and more environmentally friendly.

A Mission of Making the Most of an Important Resource

As many are now aware, quite a few of the world’s highest profile styles of food production are problematic in various ways. From the overuse of antibiotics in many types of livestock raising to the indiscriminate application of pesticides in agriculture, food producers do not always behave as responsibly as might be hoped.

At the same time, consumers have increasingly been exerting pressure aimed at reforming bad habits and encouraging more productive ones. In a few notable cases, food producers have responded by creating independent organizations designed to coordinate their related activities.

The GSI arose out of such an impulse and has gone on to lead the salmon farming industry in highly productive ways. Some of the core principles that guide the industry-based organization and its members include:

Safety. Food is essential for life, and eating should never be dangerous. By establishing and refining standards that reflect the most current and accurate conclusions regarding food safety, organizations like this can help members produce food that consumers can enjoy with confidence. Even in the absence of relevant government regulations, voluntarily imposed safety requirements can make a real difference with regard to the quality of the final product.

Environmental awareness. The planet’s environment is under attack in a variety of respects, and various types of food production are frequently implicated. Salmon can be farmed in ways that are remarkably responsible in environmental terms, but this cannot be taken for granted by default. Groups that make it easier for members to remain on the right side of the line benefit everyone as a result.

Certification. There are a number of independent organizations today that confer certifications upon businesses that live up to certain standards. By helping its members obtain ASC certification, the GSI has opened many eyes to the significance and meaning of this endorsement.

An Excellent Example of What Industry Can Accomplish on Its Own

As stories like the one told at this site make clear, industry groups are capable of accomplishing many of the things that some assume only governmental diktat can enable. Voluntary participation in groups like the GSI can be one of the most powerful tools of all.