Fish Welfare Initiative India foundation (FWI India) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fipola Retail Private Limited—a modern Indian meat retailer. This post summarizes the terms of our MoU, which include a trial procurement of higher welfare fish from Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture farms.
Fipola’s Vice President, Sunil Tandon, and Fish Welfare Initiative India Foundation’s Managing Director, Karthik Pulugurtha, posing for a photo after signing the MoU
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Fipola entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with our India team to include fish welfare in its procurement policy. The startup meat retail corporation launched into India’s unorganized meat sector in 2016 with its ‘farm-to-fork’ model to ease consumer concerns over quality, hygiene, and availability. With the signing of this agreement, Fipola is paving the way to further incorporate kinder practices into the sector by leading the introduction of higher welfare fish products in the Indian market.
By the terms of the MoU, we will join Fipola in its endeavor to create a safer and kinder fish supply chain and take on an advisory position with its suppliers. The corporation will also conduct a transition trial to shift part of its procurement to higher welfare fish this year.
What does Fipola’s MoU with FWI India mean for farmed fishes in India?
Introducing higher welfare fish is a novel undertaking in the Indian market. We believe it has the potential to shine a light on the largely neglected issues related to fish welfare. It will also be the first scalable step toward reducing fish suffering by transitioning corporate procurement towards fishes farmed with higher welfare practices. Additionally, it will allow us to build awareness of fish welfare issues among consumers.
Improved welfare benefits not only fish but also farmers, corporations, consumers, and the environment. We believe this MoU is the foundation for driving procurement transitions toward the producer members of the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture, who are already implementing higher welfare measures.
On the corporate side, European companies like Mowi and Bluegrove have set a precedent for prioritizing fish welfare in production. Fipola will not only strengthen this precedent but will also be the first corporation in Southeast Asia to do so.
European companies like Mowi and Bluegrove increasingly understand the importance of fish welfare to production. We’ve seen that Indian farmers and corporations also have tremendous potential to do this.
What does Fipola’s MoU with FWI India mean for Consumers?
In addition to shedding light on the plight of farmed fish in India, this MoU also benefits consumers. We believe this will play a key role in driving demand for products that prioritize animal welfare. Some benefits for consumers include:
Fish products that are a result of prioritizing animal welfare.
Higher quality fish raised in hygienic conditions.
Reduced exposure to antibiotics (which can otherwise cause antibiotic resistance) that are traditionally used to keep fish healthy.
Our signing of the MoU with Fipola followed our first corporate roundtable event, The Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture: Roundtable Dialogue on Fish Welfare. To learn more, see the full MoU.
Fish welfare can only move forward when all stones are turned. This is what makes corporations, who deal in millions of fish lives every day, key stakeholders for welfare. With modern-day retailers like Fipola recognizing the importance of welfare, we are confident more corporations will follow suit.