Outlining Asda's commitment to sourcing fish sustainably

ASDA is committed to the sustainable use of fisheries resources. To assist us in this, we have partnered with a leading fisheries organisation the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. All our chilled fish suppliers are now assessing their fish sourcing with an external evaluation organisation, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

Asda and SFP

Asda is supporting SFP programmes at a global and regional level, for example:

  • We have spent the last 12-18 months accurately identifying our source fisheries and require our suppliers to report the volumes of product supplied at the resolution of specific source fisheries (e.g. species, gear, jurisdiction).
  • We are using SFP’s Sustainable Seafood Metrics to evaluate our source fisheries and have held workshops with our suppliers to ensure they understand we view them as partners in this process and are aware that the system requires accurate and regular data inputs (metrics does not replace legal obligations re traceability and the accuracy of these data requires internal due diligence).
  • Where our source fisheries are in need of improvement, we will, going forward, require our suppliers to put in place a fishery improvement project.
  • We are working with SFP on ecosystem improvement projects (2011 was focused on a pilot programme, while 2012 will see the launch of an 18 month project to identify best practices for ecosystem based fisheries management for the supply chain to implement).
  • We have been active in supporting a number of existing Fisheries Improvement Projects, e.g. we supported the moves by SFP and AIPCE (the European seafood processors association) to apply control documents to the Barents Sea Cod and Haddock fisheries, which dramatically reduced levels of IUU and led to parts of the fishery obtaining MSC certification.
  • We have engaged with our suppliers of aquaculture projects (both in the northern and southern hemispheres) and asked them to identify source fisheries used for aquaculture feed and engage in improvement initiatives.

Asda remains committed to a thorough and proactive assessment of the fisheries that provide the products that we sell and active engagement in the improvement of those fisheries. We also have a commitment to transparency in the way we deliver sustainability at Asda and will make public (via our web site) the state of source fisheries (as described by SFP Metrics) and the actions we propose to improve those fisheries.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is a unique, not-for-profit organisation that works directly with the seafood industry to improve the sustainability of fisheries around the world. The organisation was founded in 2006 and is registered in the United States but is ‘virtual’, it has no headquarters and the fifty staff are distributed globally.

SFP operates through two main principles; information and improvement:

  • Information – SFP provides objective, scientific information about the status and management of individual fisheries through the public database called FishSource. SFP also provides corporate partners with a software application known as SFP Metrics which takes data from FishSource and presents it to seafood procurement staff via a computer screen dashboard in forms that allow easy assessment of the sustainability of available supplies. SFP Metrics can also generate corporate performance data regarding sustainable seafood as well as providing information on the improvement needs of specific fisheries. There are currently more than 1200 fisheries logged on FishSource.

  • Improvement – SFP actively catalyses Fisheries Improvement Projects; alliances of buyers, suppliers and producers that work together to improve a fishery by pressing for better policies and management while voluntarily changing purchasing and fishing practices to reduce problems. SFP now has more than forty FIPs in progress. SFP also operates Ecosystem Improvement Projects for implementing ecosystem based fisheries management and Aquaculture Improvement Projects for aquaculture systems.

SFP can number some of the largest retailers in the world among its partners such as Walmart and national leaders in the sector such as Sobeys in Canada. SFP also partners with global consumer brands and restaurant chains like McDonalds. Out of the top twenty-five retailers in North America, ten are SFP partners.

Posted by Chris on 01 November 2011
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