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Cordova Times: Sodexo says it will consider alternatives to MSC

An international food contractor doing millions of dollars in business with the federal government says it will consider a request from Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, for alternatives to sourcing Alaska seafood from a single certification program.

The offer to continue dialogue on the matter with Begich came Aug. 22 from George Chavel, president and chief executive officer of Sodexo USA, which contracts with several federal agencies and a number of private businesses for millions of dollars annually to serve meals to millions of people, from military mess halls and hospitals to many private entities.

Chavel was responding to a letter in which Begich urged Sodexo to reconsider its policy of sourcing seafood certified by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council. Begich noted that while Alaska wild salmon is widely regarded as one of the world’s best managed fisheries, processors handling these fish had dropped the MSC certification program out of frustration with shifting standards of the program, increased cost of certification and logo license fees.