Rhetoric and Realities
Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff
Chapter 11: In Hunt for Sustainable Seafood: Sustainability Effects of CSR in Three Fish Processing Companies
Franziska Wolff and Katharina Schmitt INTRODUCTION 11.1 In the past 30 years demand for seafood has doubled and wild fish stocks worldwide are under serious pressure. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2007) estimates that in 2005 about half of the stocks were fully exploited while one-quarter of stocks was overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. Impacts of fishing on biodiversity and habitats threaten the function and integrity of marine ecosystems. The fish processing industry can play a major role in rendering fishing more sustainable: their sourcing and product decisions are levers vis-àvis the fishing industry at the one end and consumers at the other end. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a concept to voluntarily integrate social and environmental concerns into business operations is only just taking roots in the sector. CSR here translates above all into sourcing seafood from sustainable stocks, including from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and requiring suppliers to abandon environmentally harmful fishing practices. In this chapter we look at the concrete effects and impacts of selected fish processors’ CSR claims. We also analyze what factors within the companies and in their environment can explain the achievement of sustainability effects through CSR. In particular, we examine the role of explanatory factors deduced from management and institutionalist literature. They include corporate strategy and organization; corporate culture; the business environment; civil society stakeholders and the politicalinstitutional setting. Discussing their relevance will provide insights not only on success factors and obstacles to the...
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