Aquaculture feed manufacturers Cargill and Skretting are collaborating with WWF and Finance Earth in a groundbreaking initiative aimed at financing the transition to more sustainable fisheries on a global scale.
This innovative financing model seeks to reverse the decline of fisheries and promote positive outcomes for marine ecosystems, fishing communities, and the sustainable blue economy.
The Fisheries Improvement Fund (FIF), managed by Finance Earth, will be established to drive this transformation by attracting more than $100 million in investment for fisheries improvement by 2030.
Blue financing to ensure fishery reform, in collaboration with industry partners
“Through this blue finance mechanism, sustainable financing will be ensured for projects that are critical to scaling fishery reform over the coming decade for people and nature, through an efficient, equitable, and cost-effective model. Our vision is that this Fund, under the management of Finance Earth, revolutionizes fisheries finance, driving game-changing environmental and social impact,” said Johan Bergenas, Senior Vice President of Oceans at WWF US.
Working closely with industry partners including Cargill and Skretting, WWF and Finance Earth have developed a model that is not only impactful and scalable across fisheries but is also supported by companies committed to transitioning their supply chains toward sustainable resources.
“At Finance Earth, we believe in advancing the improvement of global fisheries by providing innovative solutions,” said James Mansfield, Co-founder and Managing Director at Finance Earth.
“We are thrilled to have worked with WWF and prominent feed and buyer companies on this breakthrough initiative and to be launching this new model to provide finance for fisheries improvements.”
Mansfield added that he expected the scale of the initiative would attract investors from both the public and private sector, calling the initiative a “unique opportunity for all of us to protect our oceans and invest in a sustainable blue economy.”
Leading feed companies Cargill and Skretting played a key role
Cargill and Skretting, leading feed companies, played a vital role in developing the concept of the fund, contributing their expertise and unique insights. The companies will also particpate in a pilot project to showcase and validate the new model. Additionally, major seafood buyers such as Mars, Incorporated, Costco Wholesale, Sodexo, and the Walmart Foundation have supported the Fund’s launch.
Helene Ziv-Douki, President of Aqua Nutrition business at Cargill, expressed the feed giant’s enthusiasm for the scheme:
“At Cargill, we are excited to engage with WWF and Finance Earth on this innovative blue finance mechanism to scale fisheries improvement. We see a clear and compelling business case for companies to invest in the long-term viability of their marine ingredients used for aquaculture products, especially as aquaculture production continues to grow exponentially,” she said.
“The industry needs to work to support sourcing from more sustainable fisheries through active engagement. Improvement in fisheries will reduce supply chain volatility and mitigate supply chain risk while enhancing business value across the sector,” Ziv-Douki added.
“Sustainability is non-negotiable for doing business,” says Skretting
Fellow feed producer Skretting stressed the importance of sustainability for the feed industry looking ahead, as well as the importance of collaboration in fishery reform.
“At Skretting, we have a strong focus on reducing the environmental and social impacts of our feed ingredients. Sustainability is non-negotiable for doing business and is essential for the industry’s future growth,” said Jorge Diaz Salinas, Sustainability Manager at Skretting.
“Given the scale of the sustainability challenges facing the world, we think it is impossible to achieve progress in isolation. This collaborative initiative is a perfect example of how we can come together as an industry to help further drive global fishery reform in an equitable and scalable financial model,” he added.
Funding sustainable fisheries over the long-term
Participating companies, including Cargill and Skretting, will commit to a volume-based fee that enables the FIF to cover upfront costs for Fishery Improvement Projects and generate a long-term revenue stream. This innovative model, the partners say, revolutionizes how long-term sustainability is funded, recognizing it as an inherent cost of doing business and integrating it into product costs.
Finance Earth is now seeking proposals from both industrial and small-scale fisheries from around the world.
About Finance Earth
Finance Earth is the UK’s leading environmental impact investment boutique, providing financial advisory and fund management services across the natural and built environment both in the UK and internationally. Finance Earth helps create projects – and the investment vehicles to fund them – that positively balance outcomes for nature, communities, and investors.