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A recently launched education initiative from the McLean, Va.-based National Fisheries Institute (NFI) shines the spotlight on what the NFI refers to as “the ongoing manipulation of facts, self-serving tactics, and ulterior financial motives behind Greenpeace’s annual seafood sustainability survey and ranking of U.S. grocers.”
The campaign, “Your Pain, Their Gain,” characterizes the global environmental group as a science-averse organization more interested in fundraising than in helping retailers develop sustainable seafood policies. Additionally, by its own admission, Greenpeace doesn’t endorse any seafood certification programs or take part in any Fishery Improvement Projects.
Along with infographics, videos and analysis, the campaign website will provide case studies of high-profile companies in various industries that have continued to draw negative attention from Greenpeace even after meeting the group’s initial demands.
“Greenpeace engages in what we call a cycle of abuse,” said NFI spokesman Gavin Gibbons. “It unilaterally decides to target businesses and make unrealistic, endless demands; harass employees and customers; appeal to donor generosity to thwart made-up crises; and claim victory when businesses capitulate.”
Gibbons noted that every published edition of Greenpeace’s yearly Carting Away the Oceans report has received less mainstream media attention.
“Grocers are far better off communicating their sustainability efforts directly to their customers,” he added. “Besides, no matter what they tell Greenpeace, it’s never good enough. Greenpeace will always criticize them.”
When contacted by PG for a response, John Hocevar, oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA, noted that "interest from supermarkets and their seafood-buying customers continues to grow. When we release the seventh edition of the Carting Away the Oceans report in May, it will be with the cooperation of 18 of the 20 retailers we survey, Not everyone likes the report, but pretty much everyone aside from the NFI acknowledges that it has helped track -- and, more importantly, catalyze -- progress in the retail sector."
Hocevar added that even some of NFI's own members stood to gain positive press from this year's survey.