Press Centre

Fresh fish counters in 232 ASDA stores across the country will from today (Monday 15 May 2006) start promoting sustainably sourced fish to allow customers to make more informed purchasing decisions.

The "catch of the day" promotion, the first featuring MSC certified Pacific Cod, will rotate on a monthly basis. The move is one of the first steps towards meeting a promise the retailer made earlier this year (March) to dramatically change the way it sources fish, bringing its sustainable fish policy into line with its parent company Wal-Mart.

The commitment means that within the next three to five years, ASDA will only stock wild-caught fresh and frozen fish from fisheries that meet the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) independent environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

ASDA has already stopped selling swordfish as well as removing shark, skate wings, ling, huss (dog fish) and Dover sole from sale.

As part of its campaign the supermarket is also calling for the North Sea to be declared a marine conservation zone to preserve fish stocks for local fishing communities. It believes commercial fishing of the North Sea should be limited to local fishermen who depend on it for their sole income and who use recognised sustainable fishing practices.

It’s also suspended the sale of North Sea cod while it works closely with EU Fisheries (DG Fish) and the North Sea Regional Advisory Committee to establish a stock recovery plan for the species. It will continue to sell Scottish caught haddock in all its stores in Scotland.

Andy Bond, chief executive at ASDA said: "The 'catch of the day' initiative is proof that we are delivering on our promises. It’s great news for our customers who want to be able to make informed decisions when doing their shopping. As we’ve said before, it goes to show that low prices at ASDA don’t come at any cost.”

 

Posted in Press Centre on 15 May 2006
Press Centre

ASDA has today announced that its 2,500-strong NI workforce has voted to accept the retailer’s new terms and conditions package, which was agreed in conjunction with USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers).

This follows negotiation between ASDA and USDAW shop stewards from the stores and is the first step towards integrating local colleagues into ASDA’s UK-wide network.

“We are delighted that agreement has been reached with our colleagues, who, as the ‘face’ of ASDA, are so vital to our customers and to the success of our stores,” said Brenda Peake, ASDA’s NI Divisional People Manager.

“During the negotiation process, we’ve developed a close working partnership with USDAW representatives and our focus at all times has been on securing a package of terms and conditions which is fair, representative and beneficial to all. This positive result reflects the effectiveness of our joint negotiation process.

“In the five months that we’ve been operational in NI, our stores have exceeded all our expectations and today’s announcement marks another key milestone for our colleagues and our business as a whole.”

After acquiring Safeway’s 13 NI stores from Wm Morrison in June 2005, ASDA retained 2,000 of its predecessor’s colleagues but has since increased its total NI workforce to more than 2,500. All colleagues participated in ASDA’s bespoke training programme at the company’s dedicated training centre in Belfast.

Under the new terms & conditions, colleagues will be able to take advantage of a number of benefits ranging from increased hourly rates and improved holiday entitlement to enhanced arrangements for those on long-term sick leave. Other benefits to be introduced include an all-colleague bonus scheme and other incentives, including a discount card for every colleague, offering ten per cent off their weekly shop, and access to the company sharesave scheme. In line with ASDA’s policies on flexible working and work/life balance, the company will also offer enhanced paternity and bereavement leave.

Adding his support to the workforce’s decision, John Hannett, general secretary of USDAW said: “This is a new agreement with ASDA and we’re pleased the company has recognised the massive efforts our members have made to help smoothly manage the change of ownership. The negotiations have gone well resulting in a good deal for our members in ASDA so we will continue to focus on recruiting more members in Northern Ireland and working with the company to improve conditions in the future.”

Ends

For further information:
Jennifer England, ASDA Press Office, 0113 241 9335

Posted in Press Centre on 05 May 2006
Press Centre

ASDA can today confirm that 15 local businesses in Huntly have agreed to join its unique 'COLLECT AND SAVE SCHEM£' in the town, with the backing of the Huntly Business Association and the Aberdeenshire Town Partnership.

This announcement comes just hours to go before the new store opens (Monday 15th May) and the scheme is officially launched in Huntly tomorrow.

This ground-breaking initiative will directly benefit many local traders, from butchers to bakers; florists, pharmacies and even small cafes in the area who will all be part of the new loyalty scheme.

Far from taking business away from the area, the new ASDA store could attract many more customers to Huntly, some from 40 miles away. Thanks to the new scheme, these new customers will also spend money in local shops in the town centre, proving that supermarkets can work hand-in-hand with local retailers when they come to town.

J&I Smith Bakers in Huntly are just one of the local businesses who have signed up to the 'COLLECT AND SAVE SCHEM£'. As one of the members of the new initiative, the Huntly bakery hope to grow their sales even further with ASDA, by selling 15 of their bakery products in the new Huntly store.

Commercial Manager for J&I Smith Bakers, Roger Fillingham commented, "We think the scheme is an excellent idea. The opening of the new ASDA store will encourage shoppers to come from further afield who would not ordinarily come to Huntly. We're all very excited - this has got to be a good thing for all of us."

Mark Menzies, local community manager for ASDA said, "We've been overwhelmed with the response from local shops and we can't wait to get the scheme up and running next week. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in pulling the scheme together and to everyone in Huntly for their support."

The new ASDA store in Huntly will open at 10am on Monday 15th May.

Posted in Press Centre on 14 May 2006