In seafood supply chains, pre-competitive collaboration has become an important tool to address critical sustainability issues in both wild-caught and aquaculture seafood.
Pre-competitive strategies are approaches that businesses take to address systemic problems with the delivery of goods and services. It is a business strategy that is often applied when competition for limited resources impacts business more than the competition for customers—if you don’t have the resources to produce a product, there will not be any consumers to compete for.
In the coffee industry, pre-competitive collaboration was applied to increase training and financing so that the industry could benefit from increased production.
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In forest products, pre-competitive collaboration has been used by major retailers to develop a broadly accepted, consistent ask of the forest products industry to reduce deforestation.
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Rather than focusing on increased production or increased efficiency, the technology industry used pre-competitive practices to reduce waste and emissions. And the effort has been very successful—Natural Logic found that by the end of 2010 annual CO2 emissions from IT equipment had decreased by 32 to 36 million metric tons worldwide since 2007. Along with this significant environmental benefit, there was also a strong business value—Pre-competitive collaboration provided the tech industry with “a mechanism to level the playing field.” According to Jason Clay of WWF, “Whereas before 2007, leading companies were concerned that early innovators who reduced energy use of their products would be penalized if their products cost any more, now they have the collective market pull to normalize price fluctuations.”
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Learn more in the Guardian articles “Businesses are increasingly seeing sustainability as a precompetitive issue” and “Smart companies see the importance of collaboration”.