Major Australian retailer partnering with WWF as seafood consumption across the continent climbs

Published on
December 4, 2018

Australian supermarket chain Woolworths has teamed up with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia to promote sustainable seafood sourcing across the continent.

WWF-Australia will access Woolworths’ Own Brand portfolio of seafood products and offerings using an independently developed methodology, per the terms of the collaboration. The results of the assessment will help the organization to then implement standards of traceability across Woolworths’ seafood division “to make it easier for customers to choose sustainably produced seafood,” WWF said. 

The partnership is a timely one, as interest in seafood at Woolworths and throughout Australia continues to rise. Last year, seafood sales at Woolworths climbed seven percent, the retailer said in a press release. What’s more, recent research shows that over 80 percent of Australian seafood consumers believe that seafood needs to be protected for future generations to enjoy.

Developing and maintaining standards that embrace sustainability in seafood has become a priority for Australian retailers such as Woolworths, according to Alex Holt, Woolworths’ general quality manager for sustainability and health.

“Our oceans and marine life stocks are under increasing pressure as global populations grow and as demand for seafood soars. The Woolworths-WWF-Australia partnership is built on the shared commitment to build more sustainable fishing and aquaculture industries. We know our customers are enjoying more seafood each year and they are becoming increasingly more interested in knowing where their seafood is sourced from," Holt said. “Raising awareness of sustainably sourced products is an ongoing priority for Woolworths, as is ensuring that all the seafood of offer at our seafood counter as well as own brand seafood products, comes from sustainable sources. “WWF-Australia brings decades of experience helping businesses improve the sustainability of their operations, and we’re excited to partner with them.” 

WWF-Australia Seafood Lead Jo-anne McCrea said the new partnership will help drive improvement in Australia's seafood supply chains.

“Globally, WWF works with major buyers like Woolworths to improve their supply chain management and leverage their purchasing power to promote more sustainable production of seafood,” McCrea said. “Working together with Woolworths will create real on-the-ground conservation outcomes for our precious marine environments. We will help Woolworths select seafood that minimizes impacts on our oceans and marine life; work directly with fishing and aquaculture operations to help them improve sustainable practices where necessary; and make it easier for Woolworths customers to choose responsibly produced seafood.”

In addition to its new partnership with WWF-Australia, Woolworths is involved in a number of other responsible seafood initiatives, including: 

  • Signatory to the Australian Seafood Traceability Statement, an industry-led business  commitment towards best practice in traceability across the seafood supply chain. 
  • ‘Whichfish’, an online tool developed by the Fisheries Research and Development Cooperation to help businesses understand the environmental risks associated with the seafood they buy and sell.

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