I find buzz words a bit annoying, but “social licence” is what it’s all about for me right now, and the guys I see in the news the most in this regard are miners (and bankers). Coal’s future seems quite shaky. Other minerals and metals not so much, as things like lithium and cobalt are critical for sustainable development. Regardless of their fate, miners are acutely aware that how they deliver value for broader society, rather than just shareholders, is radically influencing community, government, investor and even employee support for their operations like never before.
The seafood industry is no stranger to this type of scrutiny. Plenty of people have told me they feel pressure from being under the ever-present watch of the public eye. Luckily, proving we are finding better ways to feed people, while improving our environmental and social footprints, is relatively easy in most cases. It concerns me though that despite stating this matters, not much of the community (37%) knows this, or much else, about the seafood industry according to our community survey results. That’s why I am super impressed with the recently launched “Australian Wild Prawns” initiative. Facts, storytelling, interactive resources, identification guides all describing the journey from product to plate in a way that would appeal to most people. It’s like a FAQ’s section of someone’s website you would actually read. I like it and if we, over the long-term, can use a similar approach to increase public awareness and support for the “Our Pledge” initiative and the Australian seafood industry we (SIA) will all be happy.