Sainsbury's sustainable fish

Sainsbury’s pledged to sell only seafood that has been independently certified as sustainable by 2020 as part of its GPB 1 billion “20 by 20 Sustainability Plan,” released on Tuesday.

The UK retailer also said it will diversify its product mix beyond “the big five” (cod, haddock, salmon, tuna and prawns) and push sales of underutilized species, train its fish counter staff to an accredited standard, and support the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide.

“By committing to certified sustainable fish by 2020, Sainsbury’s is helping to drive change in the seafood market. Sainsbury’s is the UK’s leading retailer of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, and I am delighted that this target underlines their long-held commitment to sustainable seafood sourcing,” said Toby Middleton, the MSC’s UK Country Manager, in the report detailing the retailer’s sustainability plan.

Also in the report, Sainsbury’s listed its accomplishments to date, including requiring that its store-brand canned tuna be pole and line caught, developing a sustainability rating system for wild seafood, selling only MSC-certified wild salmon, and sourcing its store-brand farmed salmon to RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Freedom Food welfare standards from Scotland salmon farms.

Sainsbury’s said its sustainability plan, which sets out 20 sustainability targets to be achieved by 2020, “will ensure the company remains at the forefront of sustainability between now and 2020.”

“Given the scale of our business, we believe these 20 commitments represent the most ambitious sustainability targets in our industry,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King. “If we are to meet the sustainability challenges that lie ahead, it is important that companies such as Sainsbury's invest in the future right now. We do not see this plan as a luxury, it is rather, an essential investment that will ensure we can continue to provide customers with quality food at fair prices, sustainably.”

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