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SmartFish’s Value Rescue Model (VRM) is an innovative and collaborative process that works across the seafood value chain to link small-scale fisher cooperatives that adopt or maintain sustainable fishing practices to better-paying markets. By improving quality, processing locally, and differentiating their products, fisher groups can gain access to buyers who value sustainability and offer better purchase conditions. This project is working to improve, accelerate, and expand SmartFish’s Value Rescue Model (VRM) to small-scale artisanal fishers in Mexico.

With the OIC support, Smartfish leverages lessons learned to take the VRM from proof-of-concept to pilots ready for scaling and replication. They are expanding the VRM system to 15 cooperatives, train 300 fishers and value chain workers, implement digital traceability systems, construct or repurpose four processing plants, design and install solar-powered cold chain facilities, and raise cooperative revenues 20%. Here are their accomplishments and milestones after over a year of project implementation.