STF announces first India summit for new members & industry stakeholders in Mumbai - April '24

Mark Eastham from Ahold Delhaize USA on Why Growing Interest to Report on Environmental & Social Issues Means We Have to Work Together

“It is also increasingly fundamental to an ESG-focused investment community and for the Seafood Task Force. This shared goal means a renewed emphasis on collaborative progress across the industry.”

Newly appointed to the STF Board, Mark comments:

“Ahold Delhaize USA values its Seafood Task Force membership because it engages the entire supply chain, striving for continued improvements that will ultimately benefit suppliers and retailers alike. That coordinated and collaborative approach is critical to respond to the growing interest from investors and institutions to report on specific environmental and social metrics.”

“Enhancing supply chain oversight in the tuna industry, for example, is a challenge, involving many countries, governments, suppliers, and fisheries. For the STF, this is an opportunity to utilize learnings from its successful work in the Thailand shrimp industry, adapting that work for the specific requirements of the tuna supply chain, and then expanding it to other countries.”

“Ahold Delhaize USA values STF’s work and some of our brands have piloted its supply chain protocols, helping to understand opportunities with practical implementation and delivery. This has helped create a demand signal that this work is important and needed, which has had a cascade-effect of tangible improvements, stemming from STF’s ready-made codes of conduct, policies, and protocols.”

“Retailers are focusing on issues like climate change, carbon emissions, waste, packaging, healthy food options and human rights, all of which cannot be tackled in isolation. Coordination and collaboration are needed to drive sustainable change.”

“STF has developed detailed auditing programs and protocols, which they are building and implementing in areas of the world where these resources are needed. The guiding principles of those programs and protocols are informing our initiatives and work in other areas such as climate and human rights.”

“STF membership enables us to tell a comprehensive story about the work we’re doing to address environmental and social issues across tuna and shrimp supply chains, especially in Southeast Asia. We’re able to demonstrate – to governments, consumers, and investors – that we can all be on the same page when it comes to sustainable supply chains.”

“As part of my Board role, I want to drive even more engagement with the investor community – ensuring they understand what we’re doing, the tangible progress being made on the vessels, on the farms and in the processing plants and, importantly, understand their priorities and performance measurements on ESG criteria.” 

“I encourage more retailers and suppliers to join us in that mission. We have a great story to tell and, by working together across the supply chain, we can continue to drive change, and inspire confidence to trade across the seafood industry.”

  • Mark leads sustainable product sourcing efforts at Ahold Delhaize USA, with a focus on sustainable commodity sourcing, biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, and human rights. 
  • Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is the parent company for Ahold Delhaize's U.S. companies, including its local brands, Food Lion, Giant Food, The GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, and the U.S. services companies, Retail Business Services, Peapod Digital Labs and ADUSA Supply Chain. When considered together, the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA comprise the largest grocery retail group on the East Coast and the fourth largest grocery retail group in the nation, operating more than 2,000 stores and distribution centers across more than 20 states and serving millions of customers each week through a uniquely local omnichannel experience.​ 

The views in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the STF.

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