University of Virginia and James Madison University achieve Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification

University of Virginia and James Madison University achieve Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certificationThe Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced that Aramark and its client partners at the University of Virginia and James Madison University have achieved MSC Chain of Custody certification resulting in the first MSC certified Aramark properties in the United States. The certification of these two universities will provide more than 40,000 students, faculty and employees daily with seafood that can be traced back to a fishery that has been certified to the science-based, global MSC standard for sustainable wild-caught seafood.

“In 2008, Aramark made a commitment that our seafood purchases in the United States would come from sustainable sources by 2018. Working with MSC has helped us develop processes that ensure our seafood can be traced to sustainable sources,” said Rita Alison, National Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability, Aramark Higher Education. “Together, we are taking steps to transform the seafood marketplace, and ultimately, preserve the world’s oceans and fisheries.”

Serving 3.2 million meals per year, University of Virginia Dining will offer MSC certified seafood in three residential dining rooms including the Fresh Food Co. at Newcomb Hall, Observatory Hill, and Runk Dining rooms.

James Madison University Dining Services serves 4.8 million meals per year and will provide MSC certified seafood in residential dining locations including East Campus and Gibbons dining halls.

Led by Aramark, the certification process entailed an inspection conducted by a third-party auditor as well as training of staff. MSC’s Chain of Custody certification ensures that in every step of the chain – from the fishers, to the processer, to the distributor and the end user – MSC certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood. Seafood menu items at the University of Virginia and James Madison University’s dining facilities will feature MSC certified species including Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, flounder and Alaska pollock.

“We’re pleased to welcome the University of Virginia and James Madison University as the first Aramark properties in the U.S. to become MSC Chain of Custody certified,” said Maggie Beaton, MSC commercial manager. “The combined efforts of Aramark and the two universities to achieve certification demonstrate the commitment of each to contribute to sustainable seafood for this and future generations.”

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 22 countries around the world every day. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabeling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Guidelines for the Ecolabeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries.  These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and ecolabeling schemes include:

  • Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific evidence;
  • Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
  • Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Singapore, Beijing, Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Glasgow, The Hague, Halifax, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Reykjavik, Santiago, Brazil, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo.

In total, 325 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 221 certified and 104 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to ten million metric tonnes of seafood.  This represents over ten percent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over seven million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to eight percent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 22,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.