Suppliers represent a complex and pivotal part of the seafood supply chain through their activities sourcing from and selling to multiple companies. Given their unique access to operations throughout the supply chain, suppliers can have a critical influence on the implementation of best practices and have the power to improve conditions and sourcing options across the industry.
What is a supplier?
A supplier is a company that purchases seafood and sells it to end buyers (e.g., retailers or wholesalers). These companies source, store, process, package, and transport seafood to a variety of buyers. Often, companies will describe those they source from as suppliers, with “tiers” denoting the degree of difference between the companies:
- “Tier 1” supplier = sells directly to an end buyer
- “Tier 2” supplier = sells to a Tier 1 supplier
Compared to vertically integrated suppliers, suppliers that source seafood from importers often have additional links in their supply chains. Because of this, these suppliers should review the guidance provided to brands and retailers to determine what is most relevant to their operations.