Retail chain launches digital map to show customers origins of its entire seafood offering

Published on
October 12, 2018
M&S fish supplier

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has introduced an interactive map that shows where and how every type of seafood it sells is either caught or farmed.

The company claims that the new seafood map is the first website of its kind from any major U.K. retailer to provide information on the capture or farming method and sustainability information for every fishery or farm that it sources from.

A total of 47 different species are plotted on the map, as well as 71 fisheries and 29 different sourcing countries. 

For wild-caught products, the map shows the location of where the fish or seafood is caught by country, the catch method used and whether the fishery is certified or, if not, details of the improvement work taking place. Similarly, for aquaculture species, the map shows the location of the farm by country and region, the farming method, the M&S Select Farm status and whether the farm is third-party certified. 

“We know how much our customers care about responsible fishing. We wanted to share with them all the data we have on where our fish comes from and how it is caught. Transparency is an important part of the trust that our customers and stakeholders put in us, that’s why we’ve published this smart tool which lays bare our whole fish supply chain, wherever it is in the world and however it is fished or farmed,” said Hannah Macintyre, M&S’ marine biologist.

Clarus Chu, WWF’s seafood manager, welcomed the move.

“All businesses need to take a responsible approach to seafood sourcing if we’re to protect and restore our precious oceans. It’s a great step for M&S to be increasing transparency in this way and showing how the fisheries they source from are improving,” he said.

The seafood map is part of the M&S Interactive Supply Chain Map, which also lists the locations of all M&S supplier factories, the farmers that produce M&S beef, M&S dairy farmers and details of where the wool comes from that makes M&S products.  

All of the wild fish M&S sells is either certified sustainable (86 percent to a GSSI recognized standard), engaged in a fishery improvement project (FIP) or working with WWF for improvement. M&S also works with WWF to risk assess its sourcing choices.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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