You'll be pleased to hear that at The Co-operative we have a strict policy to monitor and control our fish supplies.
We recognise the effect that overfishing and environmentally-destructive catch methods can have so since 2008, we have had a rigorous policy monitor the fish we source and to ensure that we understand and work to address any issues associated with these products.
We constantly monitor our own-brand fish range to make sure that all our fresh, frozen or further-processed fish has been rigorously checked to ensure that it is responsibly sourced. To measure this we use the latest scientific advice on the stocks of wild fish, or independent assurance schemes for farmed fish, and consider a range of factors associated with fish sustainability.
This policy ensures we only source fish from well-managed fisheries or farms and it applies to all fish sold in our stores, including fish used as an ingredient in our products. In 2011 we became members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC). The SSC is unique in Europe, successfully bringing together major businesses to make real changes in the fishing industry. All sourcing and labelling of Co-operative own-brand products meets the SSC codes of conduct.
To meet the SSC codes we have an external risk assessment, which tells us what level of risk is associated with the fish that we use in our own-brand products. By working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) we are able to understand risks in the fish we source and are committed to working with our supply chain to continuously improve fishery sustainability.
The SFP was founded to solve these challenges by mobilising the seafood industry as a positive force in promoting sustainable practices. The SFP gives the seafood industry the tools to help make fishing sustainable through:
- Information and advice – the SFP operates a public database that provides detailed information and ratings on many of the world’s most important fisheries. The SFP also offers advice and support to help the industry tackle the difficult problems of policy and management.
- Improvement – the SFP helps promote improvement projects that bring together fishermen, farmers, fish buyers, regulators, and conservationists to fix the problems and make management sustainable.
Working alongside SFP, as part of the Ocean Disclosure Project, we publish details of all of our wild caught fisheries and the advice we use to monitor the risks associated with sourcing from them and drive continuous improvements. We hope that this new level of transparency drives further customer confidence in the steps we take to ensure all our fish is responsibly sourced.