Seafood transparency charter gathers more retailer support

Marks & Spencer and Waitrose & Partners have become the latest U.K. retailers to sign the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) Charter for Transparency, a commitment to ensure their seafood supply chains are free from illegal fishing and human rights abuse.

Co-op, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco had already signed the charter, which includes recommendations that retailers can use with suppliers to make sure no vessel associated with illegal or unethical practices blemishes their supply chains. The recommendations include the use of traceability systems that allow fish to be tracked from net to plate, accompanied by necessary evidence showing it was caught legally and ethically, and backed by third-party audits.

“It’s very heartening to see so many major retailers sign the Charter for Transparency. It will give them the tools to develop effective risk mitigation policies and processes in place across the entire supply chain, backed by truly independent verification,” EJF Executive Director Steve Trent said. “In addition, supermarkets have real power to encourage governments across the world to implement the few basic measures that are vital to eradicating illegal fishing and human rights abuses in fisheries. They are also, of course, doing what consumers want and deserve.”

Illegal fishing is estimated to be costing the global economy between USD 10 billion and USD 23.5 billion (EUR 9 billion to EUR 21 billion) annually.


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