Darden Restaurants on growing investments to improve fishery sustainability

    Darden Restaurants, the largest full-service restaurant company in the world and known for its flagship brands Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has been increasing its involvement in development in order to help improve fishery sustainability and ensure a healthy supply chain.

    Last month, the company joined the Walton Family Foundation to create the Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund, aimed at improving fishery management and enhancing sustainability. The Fund will be managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.There is demand for about 400 fishery improvement projects and only 80 are active today, Darden Restaurants sustainability manager Brandon Tidwell told Devex Impact.The first fishery improvement project will be in Honduras, where the chain sources its spiny lobster and has worked on fisheries through the Global FISH Alliance, a public-private partnership launched with the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009.

    The project, Tidwell explained, will seek to end the highly dangerous dive-caught practice. Darden Restaurants is working with its partners to encourage the government to shut down the current practice and replace it with an artisanal fishery.

    “The goal is that we’re trying to make more direct investments to create alternative livelihoods and alternative pathways so that when the government has the will to act… the people who are going to be affected by that closure will have some pathways to success,” he said.

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    About the author

    • Adva Saldinger

      Adva Saldinger is an Associate Editor at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.