Sustainable Aquaculture Digital - January 2014

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g number of products and o differentiate themselves in the of multi-stakeholder initiatives particular products or entire accounting, mining and Øistein Thorsen, principle Multiple certification schemes are now in operation in the aquaculture sector and the Global Salmon Initiative is one of the most recent initiatives to launch (interview with the Directors on page 10). The popularity of MSIs is undisputed, but what constitutes the driving force behind their growth and how does their design help ensure their effectiveness? This article sets out some of the reasons for the emergence and growth of such schemes and identifies key components shaping their effectiveness. Why Multi-Stakeholder? The emergence of global multi-stakeholder sustainability schemes has been shaped by a combination of social, economic and political trends. National deregulation of many large economies in the 1980's and 90's paved the way for increased impact of transnational corporations on human rights and the environment through their increasingly global value chains. In parallel, the voices of civil society and consumer movements were getting louder and international rule-making through inter-governmental bodies like the UN and OECD gained momentum. Realising the difficulties of acting alone in this emerging environment, both private sector and civil society – often with engagement from government, academics, and inter-governmental organisations – started establishing initiatives collaboratively. The resulting privatehybrid schemes moved beyond corporate self-regulation to include other actors in their formulation, governance and implementation. The first companies to become involved in these new schemes most often belonged to industries for which brand reputation is of utmost importance and where there had been

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