It’s with this in mind Darden established three main focus areas for our Seafood Stewardship Platform: Education, Engagement and Improvement.
- First, education enhances the decision making process. Darden is committed to learning and teaching. It is part of our core values. Education raises awareness of seafood stewardship for our employees, business partners and key stakeholders. We do this on a regular basis through seafood training and orientation at Darden. We call this course The World of Seafood. Also, our seafood purchasing team meets annually with the New England Aquarium and reaches out to them for input and consulting on a regular basis. We also take part in global organizations that participate in seafood sustainability efforts, such as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the National Fisheries Institute, and the World Bank’s Global Partnership on Oceans.
- Second, Darden will engage with industry and take leadership roles to influence the development of standards and policies that support sustainable fisheries. We are committed to share our learning with industry. We don’t view sustainability as a competitive advantage, rather a discipline where the industry and all stakeholders need to collaborate in pursuit of continuous improvement.
- Finally, we will actively participate in improving fisheries through investment, integrated management systems and traceability. Today, we are working on a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Gulf of Mexico with snapper and grouper and have committed to launch two more FIPs by 2014. We also have taken a lead role in the sustainable efforts for North American lobster in Canada and Rock lobster in Honduras to name just a few.
One reason why I’m so proud to be part of Darden is this Seafood Stewardship Platform. Seafood sustainability is a very complex subject. No one individual or organization has got it 100% right, including us, and it’s constantly changing! What is important is to walk the talk; and at Darden, we are holding ourselves to even higher seafood sustainability standards. Our platform is a living document and will constantly evolve. No matter the changes in the industry, Darden is committed to making a positive difference in the world’s fisheries and our industry, as well as for our stakeholders and future generations.
Roger Bing is Vice President of Protein Purchasing for Darden. Before joining Darden, Roger spent a good part of his career in Australasia, Europe and Africa with Union International, an integrated global primary protein production and marketing company. Roger received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is married to Melissa and they have two children, Jacquie and Erik.