Sustainability Incubator

     advancing ethical & accountable food sourcing


We help food companies to internalize their investment in sustainability by building it into all areas of production.

We do this in two ways.  First, we support fishing companies, processors and exporters to invest directly in fishery improvements.

Second, we deliver the capacity to large food companies to screen large numbers of products for social accountability, and then to build more.  There is a big social aspect to food that makes it nourishing.   A personal connection makes food taste better.  Our Labor Safe Screen accounts for the story behind the food and gives large food companies the security of risk-based due diligence.  We’ve automated product screening and large food companies can process a large number of products at the push of a button. It’s a game changer and easy now to see how products stack up against the federal rankings and social accountability best practice.   The Labor Safe Screen is the first food program to automate screening against product labor data from the U.S. Departments of State and Labor-ILAB.  Developed with support from Humanity United and the Freedom Fund, the automated version of the Labor Safe Screen program in food traceability software offered by Trace Register won the Partnership for Freedom innovation Grand Prize for rethinking supply chains with technological innovation.


Our approach is pro-food biz.  We believe that the future of the food sector has everything to do with strengthening the stake and success of producers.  Our screen is different from others because it provides active leadership roles for fishing companies, processors, exporters, and importers, also labor and migrant rights or other human rights groups.  Knowledge inside the supply chain from food suppliers is valuable and their buy-in is invaluable, therefore de-risking traceability and compliance for suppliers is a big part of the work.  We’ve been doing this for 5 years with whole chain engagement all the way, building positive business and livelihood opportunities for all participants.

We stand behind industry-led Fishery Improvement Projects for Barents Sea crab, New England ocean perch/redfish, New England silver hake/whiting, Peru Mahi, Yucatan crab and Hawaii tuna and large pelagics.  We launch and support FIPs led by the industry and play the Secretariat role, making sure the science is done and the recommendations are realistic and wanted by fishery scientists, managers and regulators.  We are unique in the fishery improvements space for implementing FIPs that are aligned with industry goals for growth and sustainability.

Sustainability impact is about building up the stake.  Our customers invest at the base of the food supply chain to produce real returns for oceans and producers and for their core business operations.  Better access to resources, product differentiation and reliability are ROI built alongside trust.

Our Philosophy:  At the Sustainability Incubator our philosophy is to raise all aspects of food production to the same standard for environmental and social excellence, systematically across the food chain and missing no-one.   Our approach is to optimize existing systems and knowledge and to bridge where it is called for.   Bridging to the conservation community was called for yesterday and today there is sustainability policy to show for it.   Bridging to the human rights sphere is called for today, and ethical policy will follow.  Bridging means learning the target, and acknowledging a shared responsibility to get the social and environmental work done.

About Us:  We are a network of 30+ scientists, human rights experts and business strategists worldwide.  We offer services and projects to build strength in food products and sourcing policy.  We work on short task cycles and charge by flat fee for deliverables.  We are  independent and we serve independents.  We respect the unique identity of every company and organization that we serve.


  • Fishery improvement projects,
  • Screening products to detect labor risk and protections,
  • Customized online vendor surveys with confidentiality protections,
  • Aquaculture improvement projects,
  • Mapping supply chains,
  • Product monitoring,
  • Risk evaluation and management for social impact,
  • Research and finding the right information to support your sourcing strategy,
  • Communicating positive outcomes to the market effectively,
  • Scenarios and opportunity mapping,
  • Ethical sourcing criteria, procedures and codes of practice,
  • Training suppliers in Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Seafood realities and how to advance them in the actual course of production,
  • Remedies and tools for social responsibility: universal contracts, codes of practice for fleets, plants and labor agents, supplier procedures to protect your company and strengthen the base of the chain
  • Collaboration with regulators and authorities to get on their page
  • Partnerships with scientists, human rights experts and “first-hand” local organizations who know the actual conditions.
  • Everything needed to align sustainability goals with actual production and get the fix right the first time.

Working with the Sustainability Incubator, you will have the right questions to pose to vendors to build accountability and conformity with your company’s targets and the right approach to inspire trust.  Sustainability Incubator does the homework beforehand, from researching the fishery and reaching out to its scientists and managers to mapping the entire product supply chain and running the risk scenarios based on verifiable public evidence.  We will strengthen the product by closing gaps between buyer needs and seller realities.

260 million people work in seafood and rely on it for their main income.   As the world’s most traded food commodity and possibly the world’s biggest single employer, seafood is global but its impacts are local.   World over we have seen how local gains in sustainability in the operating areas of production, and inside the supply chain, catapult business forward and help people thrive and advance.  Aspirations-wise, we manage a portfolio of sustainability initiatives that includes 50% positive story work and 50% tackling persistent problems like illegal fishing and human trafficking that stand in the way of safe and legal seafood.

Contact us to discuss your needs and see About Us for 2017 work.


What Business Can Do_Import ban on slavery_Sustainability Incubator_2016

US Import Ban on Slave-Made Seafood_can it be enforced?_Sustainability Incubator_1 March 2016

What Governments Can Do_Closing loopholes for imported seafood_Sustainability Incubator_May 2016

Multispecies Mixed Stock Fisheries Management – Review of Current & Best Practices for the Marine Stewardship Council, Technical Advisory Board November 2015

Sustainable Seafood in an Era of Overfishing: an impact evaluation of industry-led measures, with findings of concrete positive results. September 2015

Estimates of illegal and unreported fish in seafood imports to the USA Marine Policy 2014

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Information for ethical & sustainable food sourcing