WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Walton Family Foundation and the James Beard Foundation launched the “Three Sustainable Steps” campaign to encourage consumers to ask restaurants and retailers for sustainable seafood, communicate their preference for sustainability, and thank restaurants and retailers who have committed to these practices. Launched ahead of Valentine’s Day, one of the most popular days for dining out, the campaign aims to remind consumers that simple steps can have a ripple effect through the global supply chain and make a positive impact on the ocean.
“No matter where you live, seafood can be sourced sustainably,” said Teresa Ish, Program Officer for the Oceans Initiative, Walton Family Foundation. “All over the world, we are working with fishermen to help them adopt sustainable practices so that we can protect species vulnerable to overfishing and preserve the habitats the ocean species need to thrive. Consumers demanding sustainable seafood, whether in a restaurant or in a grocery store, is an essential component to accelerating change in the marketplace.”
The Walton Family Foundation has invested in U.S. fisheries to support sustainability of west coast groundfish (aka rockfish), Gulf of Mexico snapper, Alaskan salmon, and pollock. Consumers can also look for MSC certification on packaging at the store; the blue fish logo indicates that a product is sustainably sourced.
Chefs and restaurateurs are changemakers in the movement for sustainability. Through the Smart Catch program, the James Beard Foundation provides training and support for chefs nationwide to help them serve fish that is farmed or fished in environmentally responsible ways. The program also includes suppliers that offer diverse, traceable and sustainable products. To find Smart Catch restaurants in your community, visit: www.jamesbeard.org/smart-catch-committed-restaurant-page.
“Hundreds of restaurants nationwide have made the commitment, through our Smart Catch program, to serve seafood from more sustainable sources,” said Katherine Miller, Vice President of Impact, James Beard Foundation. “These chefs and culinary leaders are protecting our oceans, even in cities far from the coasts. Diners choosing to dine at these restaurants, and requesting sustainably sourced dishes every time they dine, will help grow this movement.”
Importing nearly two-thirds of the world’s globally traded seafood products, the U.S., Japan, and Spain buy more than $3.66 billion a year in seafood exports from Mexico, Peru, Chile and Indonesia. The Walton Family Foundation aims to encourage the industry to make investments – of time, staffing and brainpower – to work with fishers, governments, and scientists so they can sustain the fish populations that underpin their businesses. Today, 30 percent of the global seafood market is sustainable or on the path to sustainability.
To learn more about the Walton Family Foundation’s ocean conservation work, visit: www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/our-work/environment/oceans.
To learn more about the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program, visit: www.jamesbeard.org/smart-catch.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2018, the foundation awarded more than $595 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to promote good food for good™. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include our Women’s Leadership Programs, aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, which shine a spotlight on successful change makers. The organization is committed to giving chefs and their colleagues a voice and the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org and follow @beardfoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.