Amersfoort, the Netherlands-based Nutreco and its subsidiary Skretting, a Stavanger, Norway-based feed and fingerling producer, have released a new responsible sourcing policy for marine ingredients.
Nutreco comprises two company divisions, with Skretting manufacturing and supplying feeds to the aquaculture industry and Trouw Nutrition delivering specialties, premixes, and nutritional services for the animal nutrition industry. The policy will be used across the company to guide its sourcing and purchasing of marine ingredients.
The policy, built on a risk-based approach, was developed internally but vetted by external stakeholders, according to the company. It builds off Nutreco’s Sustainability RoadMap 2025, which aims to ensure that by 2025, 100 percent of the marine ingredients the company sources are certified as sustainable or come from a fishery improvement project, as well as ensuring that all the fishmeal and fish oil used to produce feed originate from fisheries that are managed according to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
"We're taking a critical step forward in outlining a clear path to attaining our RoadMap 2025 targets for marine ingredients,” Nutreco Corporate Sustainability Director Jose Villalón said. “This marine ingredient sourcing policy sets a milestone in industry transparency and traceability in the very complex value chain of sourcing marine ingredients.”
The new policy separates the marine ingredients Nutreco buys into five classes, with purchasing targets set for each class based of their relative sustainability. These classes will also dictate what types of marine ingredients Nutreco is able to purchase from countries identified with a high risk of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Countries identified to have a high risk of forced labor in their seafood industries will also face additional requirements before Nutreco qualifies them as sellers.
“The responsible use of marine ingredients is under constant scrutiny and we have an important role to play to contribute with more transparency in the industry,” Skretting Sustainability Manager Jorge Díaz said. “Through this policy we’re open about the criteria that we will use to source our ingredients and we want to be accountable for that. Reaching our targets is not something that we can do alone and it comes with challenges, but we will not shy away from them and will keep collaborating with all the relevant stakeholders to identify and mitigate the risks of our operations.”
Esbjerg, Denmark-based marine ingredients producer TripleNine, which sells to Nutreco, backed the issuance of the new policy.
“As a Skretting supplier, this marine ingredients responsible sourcing policy gives TripleNine a clear and practical guideline to Skretting’s current and future demand when it comes to sustainable raw materials and their documentation,” TripleNine Chief Sales Officer Jon Tarlebø said. “Although the policy covers all vital aspects of this complex area, Skretting has managed to produce guidelines and targets that are clear and understandable to all stakeholders. Through its clarity and precision this policy creates a solid basis for future business.”
Libby Woodhatch, the executive chair of MarinTrust, a global marine ingredient standard for responsible supply, said Nutreco’s Sustainability RoadMap 2025 backs MarinTrust’s embrace of fishery improvement projects "as a preliminary multistakeholder approach aimed at helping drive change in fisheries around the world.”
In 2021, 80 percent of Skretting’s purchases of fishmeal and fish oil originating from whole fish and b-products came from fisheries certified by either MarinTrust or the Marine Stewardship Council, or from fisheries that were part of a MarinTrust-backed fishery improvement program, up from 69 percent reported in 2020.
“Marine ingredients remain a crucial sourcing category in the aquaculture feed industry. This policy supports the Nutreco purchasing team to source those important ingredients in the best possible way, ensuring our customers get a high-quality ingredient that is guaranteed to meet our and their high sustainability standards,” Nutreco Procurement Director Macro Ingredients Robert van den Breemer said.
IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organization, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership all backed the new document.
“Having a sourcing policy such as Skretting’s is a key asset for the whole marine ingredients value chain,” IFFO Communications and External Relations Director Veronique Jamin said. “By involving public disclosure of the origin of the marine ingredients used in feed, which is core to accountability and citizen empowerment, it meets customers’ expectations. We encourage customer-facing organizations to publicize such documentation, which maps key stakeholders and fisheries across the world. It also supports a better understanding of the role increasingly played by byproducts as marine ingredient raw materials, as well as collective efforts undertaken as part of fishery improvement projects.”
Photo courtesy of Skretting