The plant-based certification program aims to promote more sustainable sources of protein while further boosting the growth of plant-based meat and seafood.

A plant-based seafood certification program was recently launched by the World Sustainability Organization (WSO) and The Good Food Institute (GFI). The Friend of the Sea Gold Standard is a joint initiative that will help plant-based seafood companies certify their products according to sustainable certification criteria of the WSO’s Friend of the Earth agriculture standards – formally recognising them as sustainable “seafood.”

A comparable Golden Certification from WSO’s Friend of the Earth certification program has also been created for plant-based meat. Both standards aim to protect the environment by promoting more sustainable sources of protein and further boosting the growth of plant-based meat and seafood.

WSO operates globally in the sustainable certification sector with two major projects: Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth. To obtain the certification, companies must meet requirements such as a well organized environmental management procedure; a system to protect the ecosystem, with implementation of areas dedicated to the conservation of wild flora and fauna; and a reduction in the use of chemically synthetic substances according to the principles of organic or integrated agriculture.

“Our standard, which is applicable for these products, is based on SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture systems) guidelines set by UN-FAO,” Paolo Bray, founder and director of the World Sustainability Organization, said. “Intensive agriculture practices contribute to the loss of agricultural and natural biodiversity, degrading ecosystems and causing a reduction in animal and plant species. Such activities are also resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions, among other concerns. The Friend of the Sea Golden Standard for plant-based seafood will assure consumers that products have been made by adopting sustainable practices without harming the environment.”

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