By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Thursday, March 29 2012
Birds Eye’s entire cod and haddock Fish Finger range has achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification, the London-based organization announced on Friday.
The move makes 5,200 metric tons of fish products — a 20 percent increase in MSC-labeled products — eligible to bear the MSC eco-label.
More than 185 million Birds Eye Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers are consumed in the United Kingdom annually. The move is part of Birds Eye owner Iglo Group’s company-wide sustainability plan, dubbed Forever Food, which aims to certify 100 percent of its seafood products.
Birds Eye’s entire seafood portfolio, from cod to salmon, is now engaged in the MSC program, either in assessment or already certified.
Birds Eye helped rejuvenate depleting cod stocks in 2007 with the introduction of the Alaska Pollock Omega-3 Fish Finger, a move that encouraged 78 percent of consumers to switch from cod to Alaska pollock, resulting in a 3,000 metric ton reduction in its annual cod catch.
“The growth in engagement and support for the MSC program over the past 15 years has been amazing. We are starting to see clear evidence that commitment to certification is fostering real and lasting change in the way the oceans are fished and we could not achieve that without the support and leadership of companies like Birds Eye,” said MSC CEO Rupert Howes. “By putting MSC certification at the heart of their procurement, and by adding the MSC eco-label to their iconic fish fingers, Birds Eye have made a clear statement of intent that will help to pull new fisheries into the MSC program. Some of those fisheries may have to make changes to the way they fish in order to achieve the standard. This is a phenomenal commitment that will make a significant difference in the UK market.”