Winner, Seafood Champion Awards Leadership Category

Ally Dingwall

With Ally Dingwall’s as its Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager, Sainsbury’s now leads the U.K. retail market in the number of MSC products on their shelves, all of which carry chain of custody traceability and carry the logo on its packaging. As a result of Ally’s leadership, Sainsbury’s was awarded the MSC Fish Retailer of the year in 2014 and is still leading the market for 2015.

Sainsbury’s has promoted their sourcing policy to their peers and to the industry. Policies such as Sainsbury’s have great impacts on the sustainable seafood market as a whole. The policy demonstrates that it is possible to make aspirational goals, but it requires cooperation, dedication, and passion to be successful: All values and qualities Ally Dingwall embodies.
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Ally Dingwall is Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Sainsbury’s in the UK. As a member of the Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing team, Ally has responsibility for Sainsbury’s fish sourcing policy. Sainsbury’s supermarket has been a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership partner since 2009 (first in the UK retail market). Through Ally’s leadership, which began in 2008, Sainsbury’s has made its way to the front of the UK retail market with regards to sustainability (recognized by MCS is 2014). He has developed a strong; time bound sustainable seafood policy for the retailer and works dedicated everyday to achieve the aspiring goals.

Ally leads the team at Sainsbury’s and they now have the most MSC products on their shelves. All the MSC products carry chain of custody traceability and carry the logo on pack. Sainsbury’s was awarded the MSC Fish Retailer of the year in 2014 and is still leading the market for 2015. Ally has also advanced the Sainsbury’s commitments, both for wild and farmed seafood. Sainsbury’s commitment to sustainable fish sourcing is widely recognised, including their commitment to ensuring that by 2020, all their seafood will have been independently certified as sustainable.

Ally takes a personal approach to his work with seafood sustainability. He is a good model of dedication, approachability, collaboration and humour within the industry. He demonstrates, through his work, the need for good communication and strong commitment. Ally is closely involved in a number of initiatives both nationally and internationally. Sainsbury’s, with Ally’s leadership, is an integral member of many partnership sustainable seafood organizations. In addition to SFP, Sainsbury’s is a member of the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF). Tuna sustaibility is at the top of Sainsbury’s priorities and it is through their work with IPNLF and Tuna FIPs around the world that they can achieve their policy commitments. In addition, Ally works beyond the typical sustainability criteria, incorporating Freedom Food (RSPCA) and Social Welfare values and standards into Sainsbury’s supply chain. Finally, as more than half of the products in Sainsbury’s stores are from aquaculture farms, Ally has become a leader in the dialogue around sustainable aquaculture and encouraging the development of certified farms.

Sainsbury’s has promoted their sourcing policy to their peers and to the industry. Policies such as Sainsbury’s have great impacts on the sustainable seafood market as a whole. The policy demonstrates that it is possible to make aspirational goals, but it requires cooperation, dedication, and passion to achieve: All values and qualities Ally Digwall embodies.

On a final note, while I have made many references to the Sainsbury’s commitments and policies in the above nomination. I have learned through my work with large retailers and major seafood buyers that much of the advancements and successes of these businesses are due to the tireless efforts of the individuals behind the scene. Sainsbury’s as a business could be nominated, but it would not be in the same place it is today without the leadership of Ally Dingwall.

What local and/or international partners does Ally Dingwall work with?

Ally is closely involved in a number of initiatives both nationally and internationally. Sainsbury’s, with Ally’s leadership, is an integral member of many partnership sustainable seafood organizations. In addition to SFP, Sainsbury’s is a member of the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF). Tuna sustaibility is at the top of Sainsbury’s priorities and it is through their work with IPNLF and Tuna FIPs around the world that they can achieve their policy commitments. In addition, Ally works beyond the typical sustainability criteria, incorporating Freedom Food (RSPCA) and Social Welfare values and standards into Sainsbury’s supply chain.

How well does Ally Dingwall and his work demonstrate the qualities of the category?

Ally takes a personal approach to his work with seafood sustainability. He is a good model of dedication, approachability, collaboration and humour within the industry. He demonstrates, through his work, the need for good communication and strong commitment.

In what ways has Ally Dingwall positively affected, or mitigated negative impacts of, the seafood industry?

Ally and Sainsbury’s has a positive affect on the seafood industry through his commitment to sustainability. In his leadership, Ally has encouraged other retailers in the UK to reach MSC commitments. He keeps the competition for sustainability recognition tight in the UK.

In what way could Ally Dingwall’s story inspire others and communicate successes achieved in sustainable seafood?

Ally’s story and journey will inspire other sustainability managers within the seafood industry to advance their commitments. He is a model of how individuals can make a difference to large companies.

How would Ally Dingwall’s work serve as a replicable model for others who want to have a similar impact?

Sainsbury’s has promoted their sourcing policy to their peers and to the industry. Policies such as Sainsbury’s have great impacts on the sustainable seafood market as a whole. The policy demonstrates that it is possible to make aspirational goals, but it requires cooperation, dedication, and passion to achieve: All values and qualities Ally Dingwall embodies.

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Quote

“You don’t have to convince anybody in our business that this is the right thing to do…everybody gets it. It’s just a case of making sure we’ve got a healthy planet and food security going forward.” —Ally Dingwall

An Interview with Ally Dingwall

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