Anchoring Ocean Sustainability: Cold Storage x SPS Chart the Course with “GenSea”

This post was last updated on July 2nd, 2024 at 12:00 am

The nation’s leader in the frozen seafood sector, in collaboration with Save Philippines Seas, holds its first ever “GenSea: Dive Into Sustainability forum

Cold Storage Seafood, a stalwart in the frozen seafood industry for over 27 years, is renowned for its commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation in the frozen seafood sector. Setting industry standards since its inception, the family-owned-and-operated company leverages its legacy to continually provide the Philippine market with superior quality frozen seafood offerings—all while championing environmental conservation.

The successful GenSea: Diving Into Sustainability kickoff event held on June 20 at Manila House. All photos courtesy of ColdStorage/Mastermind Asia/Aceron Studios

Recently, the company unveiled a new partnership with Save Philippine Seas (SPS), a non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the marine biodiversity of the Philippines,  for their pioneering initiative, “GenSea: Dive Into Sustainability.” This collaboration marks a significant milestone in Cold Storage’s dedication towards advocating sustainable practices within the seafood sector. The inaugural event, held at the Manila House on June 20, 2024, was every bit deeply informative as it was delicious. With a panel of industry experts sharing their informed opinions over a seafood-centric, mouthwatering multicourse meal highlighting Cold Storage’s products (masterfully prepared by the culinary team at Manila House), the afternoon unfolded in eye-opening, palate-pleasing  ways.

Towards transformative collaborations

Aimed at spearheading sustainable practices in the seafood industry, the GenSea kickoff was not just an opportunity for Cold Storage to elevate their environmentally engaged ethos, but also to provide a platform to educate and enthuse the market—and beyond that, the industry itself. GenSea bolsters the benchmarks for sustainable fishing practices and responsible sourcing of seafood. To this end, Cold Storage works closely, as well, with the Bureau of Fisheries, representatives of which were also in attendance at the initiative’s maiden event. Moreover, through the efforts of SPS, GenSea aims to promote educational content and fundraising events, further underscoring Cold Storage’s marine-motivated mission.

(L-R) Marco Qua, President, Cold Storage Seafood; Morris Qua, Vice President for Operations, Cold Storage Seafood

With the dynamic Qua brothers, Marco and Morris, now at the helm of the family-owned-and-operated venture, Cold Storage is poised to enter an even more exciting time of evolution, in its bid toward sustainability. Marco Qua, President of Cold Storage, emphasized this ever-evolving journey towards sustainability, acknowledging the transformative impact of partnering with SPS. He highlighted their commitment to not only improving processes but also supporting environmental education and fundraising initiatives—and backed this with a donation to SPS.

Marco Qua answers questions from guests at the event

“Partnering with Save the Philippine Seas has significantly enhanced our understanding of sustainable practices,” Marco, the older of the Qua brothers, said. “Through this collaboration, we’ve identified innovative ways to improve our processes and products, ensuring both environmental stewardship and long-term product sustainability. This partnership emphasizes our commitment to protecting marine ecosystems while delivering high-quality and sustainable products to our customers,” he expounded.

Skillfully navigating industry sustainability

The launch likewise provided a vibrant venue to get the conversation going, by way of a panel discussion, moderated by chef and author, Angelo Comsti. Joined by chefs and F&B industry experts, Nicco Santos & Quenee Vilar (Restaurant Aurora), Stephan Duhesme (Metiz / Automat), Patrick Go (Your Local), and Rhea & Jayjay SyCip (The Fatted Calf), the forum delved deep into the challenges and innovations in promoting sustainable practices within the food and beverage sector. There was definitely much learning to be had, by way of the rich and robust industry insider insights.

Top-of-mind was a sentiment echoed by almost all the panelists: that the importance of advocating a circular economy in the food industry cannot be overstated. In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, with maximum value extracted during their use and recovery. In the context of the food industry, this means minimizing waste, optimizing resource use, and promoting sustainable production and consumption practices. By embracing a circular economy approach, food businesses can reduce their environmental footprint, contribute to biodiversity conservation, and ensure food security for future generations. This holistic approach not only benefits the environment but also supports economic growth and resilience in the long term; goals that are definitely up there on GenSea’s to-do list.

Chef and author, Angelo Comsti (back row); joined by chefs and F&B industry experts (L-R), Nicco Santos & Quenee Vilar (Restaurant Aurora), Stephan Duhesme (Metiz / Automat), Rhea SyCip (The Fatted Calf), Patrick Go (Your Local), and Jayjay SyCip (The Fatted Calf)

“Gen Sea is a fitting title for this campaign because SPS is focused on developing a generation of ‘seatizens,’ or people who appreciate and care for our seas. This partnership will support our environmental education programs and help us develop communication materials on sustainable seafood,” Anna Oposa, Executive Director of SPS, pointed out.

A lighthearted moment during the panel discussion of a very weighty topic

“It is our advocacy to engage different sectors, empower Filipinos by building people’s capacity to take action, and excite ‘seatizens’ by making marine conservation fun and more relatable,” Harvey Perello, a project manager at Save Philippine Seas, likewise noted. “There are many reasons to be excited about our seas, one of them is seafood. The sea now faces environmental challenges that could jeopardize the benefits we derive from it, including the availability of seafood,” he added, stressing the importance of the GenSea collaboration.

Harvey Perello, a project manager at Save Philippine Seas, addresses guests at the event

A shared responsibility to sustain our seas

Overall, the event was a successful step in the right direction for the GenSea initiative. The launch exemplified the great potential and transformative impact of collaboration between industry leaders like Cold Storage and advocacy organizations such as SPS. By uniting their expertise and resources, they not only promote sustainable practices within the seafood industry but also inspire broader change across the food and beverage sector. Through engagement with chefs, restaurateurs, and even everyday consumers, these initiatives foster a collective sense of responsibility towards environmental stewardship. As Cold Storage and SPS continue to innovate and educate, supported by the proactive involvement of stakeholders at all levels, they set sail for a future where sustainability is not just a goal but a shared commitment that flows into everyday life.