Seafood is an integral part of our fresh food offer so healthy oceans, sustainable fish stocks and a viable fishing industry are all essential to our business.
Our customers love their seafood. It’s healthier, easy to prepare and it tastes great. Global consumption of fish is at a record high. There has been a seven-fold increase in global fishing volumes over the past 50 or so years – from 19 million tonnes in 1950 to about 142 million tonnes in 2008 .
We want to help restore and improve fish stocks in the oceans and create sustainable and secure supply of seafood not just for today but well into the future. We are also supporting our suppliers so that we continue to have a viable fishing industry.
Our aim is to ensure that all our seafood comes from sustainable sources.
We are committed to:
- Working with our suppliers to ensure seafood supplies are available to feed the needs of our customers today and for future generations.
- Providing the right information helping our customers to make informed choices about the sustainability of the seafood they buy from our stores.
Over the next few years we will progressively implement sustainability measures for fresh, canned and frozen fish and seafood products sold in our stores.
Our long term goal is to have all our wild-caught seafood range Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified (or equivalent). MSC is the world’s leading independent certification and eco-labelling scheme. It works to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. When you see the MSC eco-label, you can be sure you have found a product that has been independently certified as coming from a well-managed and sustainable fishery.
We recognise that certification takes time and resources and we will work with our suppliers to achieve this goal.
While we are working towards our long term goal, we will:
- Increase our existing MSC certified products available in our stores.
- Partner with experts in this field to have our range assessed for sustainability based on objective and credible scientific information and evidence.
- Communicate the sustainability of our products to our customers where possible.
- Where the assessments show concerns with fisheries, assist suppliers to develop and implement improvement plans and adopt more sustainable fishing practices.
Several Woolworths Select products have been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) see below. To achieve MSC certification, fisheries must demonstrate - through a rigorous, independent assessment process – that the stocks being targeted are healthy, the fishing practices have minimal impact on the marine eco-system and overall the fishery is well managed.
- Select canned salmon in a range of can sizes
- Select canned albacore tuna in spring water
- Select canned albacore tuna in olive oil
- Select Crumbed fish fillets - 400g and 1kg
- Select Garlic and herb crumbed fish fillets - 400g
- Select Lemon pepper crumbed fish fillets - 400g
- Select Tempura battered fish fillets - 400g
Look for this sign on the pack
For farmed seafood, our aim is to have all the products certified sustainable by credible third party certification schemes by 2015.
The certification schemes recognised by Woolworths at this time are:
- The Global GAP Aquaculture www.globalgap.org
- The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) www.gaalliance.org
- The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) www.ascworldwide.org
We may add other certification schemes to this list based on advice from experts in aquaculture fisheries management.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)
We have partnered with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) an independent non-government organisation, to carry out the scientific assessment of the relative sustainability of our seafood products and provide advice on the management of specific issues.
We chose SFP because of their expertise, independence and rigorous research methodology for sustainability assessments of fish and fisheries. We liked their approach because it is science based. SFP has a transparent ranking method and they post their fishery evaluations online at www.fishsource.org so that anyone can see them.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia
We have also partnered with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia and together we support and promote the Fish4Life project aiming to inform our customers about more sustainable seafood choices.
We are committed to supporting our suppliers on this journey. We will work with our suppliers to improve the sustainability of our seafood supply chain. Where appropriate, we will provide grants under our Fresh Food Future program for sustainability improvements and certification of fisheries supplying our products.
In support of our suppliers we have provided
- $25,000 grant to Northern Prawn Fishery for MSC certification.
- $10,000 to CSIRO and South East Trawl Fishery Industry Association (SETFIA) for research on status of orange roughy.
- Jointly funded Nuffield scholarship with Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) for a fisheries professional.
To learn more, please visit our Woolworths Limited channel on YouTube
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