SUPERMARKET CHAIN, Asda has become the first retailer to publish a full report about how and where it sources its wild fish, along with information about sustainability and the management of fisheries.
The new report, titled ‘Asda Wild Fisheries Annual Review 2013’, covers all source fisheries used by the supermarket between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013 and is the result of a collaboration between Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).
It names each fishery and provides practical information about location and catch methods as well as a sustainability assessment, improvement projects and environmental impacts.
SFP has praised Asda for becoming the first retailer in the world to open up and provide information to shoppers about where exactly their fish has come from.
Chris Brown, Sustainability Director at Asda, said: “Our shoppers want to know where the wild fish they buy from our stores comes from and how it is caught and that’s why we have released this information. We have worked in partnership with SFP for many years to ensure we have an independent voice assessing our fish sourcing and guiding us toward a sustainable fisheries management programme. We are proud of our achievements to date but we accept that we have further work to do on some areas.”
The move has also been welcomed by Greenpeace and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, both of whom have campaigned for more transparency from supermarkets on seafood sourcing.
Commenting on the release of the report, Sarah North, Head of the Oceans Campaign at Greenpeace UK, said: "Greenpeace applauds Asda for this bold display of honesty and transparency about the seafood they sell. Now Asda's customers in the UK will be armed with the information they need to choose more sustainable fish, and can follow Asda's journey as it continues to work hard to improve its seafood sourcing. We sincerely hope that other retailers in the UK and beyond now follow Asda's lead."
Whilst Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall added: “I applaud this step by Asda to be transparent about all the wild seafood that has their name on it.”
“The next steps must be to improve or find alternatives to the fisheries with the biggest problems, and to make this data accessible to their customers in a way that can guide their choices in the shop. That means clearer labels with the information that shoppers need to help them choose sustainable fish.”
The report will become an annual publication allowing the public to judge Asda on its track record for sustainable seafood as well as finding out more about individual species. The assessment does not yet cover seafood from aquaculture (fish farming) but it is hoped this information will be included in the next report in 2015.
To download the full report please follow this link.