We hosted India’s first fish welfare roundtable event to engage corporations and culinary experts. This post outlines why we hosted the Roundtable Dialogue on Fish Welfare, as well as our way forward.
A group photo of the FWI team and aquaculture stakeholders who attended the event.
Corporate engagement is a key part of FWI’s theory of change. The initial phases of our work on this end involved scoping seafood markets, fish retailers, and culinary experts. We met with 35 corporations and established relationship foundations. Hosting a roundtable event to initiate a dialogue between the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture (ARA) and promising corporations followed as the most natural next step.
Our 3 main goals for the event were:
To further engage corporate and culinary stakeholders with the concept of fish welfare.
To increase the likelihood of traceability of and future industry market linkages for higher welfare fish.
To create positive press about fish welfare for general awareness.
We believe corporate interest in fish welfare has immense potential to motivate more aquafarmers to implement it. Corporations in India also stand to gain from incorporating welfare into their policies. To this end, we invited ARA farmers and representatives from Indian meat retail giants, Fipola; Captain Fresh; and Falcon Marine Group, to attend the roundtable dialogue. Culinary experts also attended and shared their perspectives on fish welfare in relation to the food industry.
A panel discussion on The Route to Sustainability Via Animal Welfare among culinary experts: Chef Seemanta Baruah, Subham Kar, and Chef Megha Kohli.
On the day, our sessions dove into the ethical and scientific aspects of fish welfare and its current status in India. It re-introduced the attendees to the concept and provided a space for corporate representatives to have an open dialogue with producers and culinary experts.
In India, the meat retail sector is a highly unorganized space. Discussions on the possibility of traceability with higher welfare fish were of interest to all attendees. We believe it is among the key motivators for corporations to include welfare in their procurement policies.
We even signed an MoU with Fipola Retail India! More on this coming in future posts.
The roundtable’s sessions detailed the status of fish welfare in India, the ethical and scientific aspects of fish welfare, and included discussions on market linkages for higher welfare fish to encourage corporate procurement transitions.
Overall, we believe it was a success and are looking forward to planning more in the future. This event was covered by multiple media outlets including Tone Agri an agriculture-focused Youtube channel with over 142K subscribers.