Findus Group sets 2012 MSC ambition – Fishfarmer Magazine

Findus Group sets 2012 MSC ambition27 April, 2010 –

AS part of its long-term ‘Fish for Life’ commitment to sustainable seafood, the Findus Group yesterday announced its ambition to buy all the wild-caught fish for its Young’s and Findus retail brands across Europe from fisheries independently certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard by 2012.

In applying its ‘Fish for Life’ approach, the Findus Group already buys all its own wild caught fish through a rigorous assessment process that applies its ‘Ten Principles for Responsible Fish Procurement.’ However the Findus Group says it also supports independent certification schemes, such as the MSC, as it believes these are a key route to the worldwide application of scientifically-endorsed sustainability standards.

If the Findus Group succeeds in moving all its Young’s and Findus wild caught fish to MSC certified material, it is estimated that it could result in an additional 50 million branded retail packs carrying the MSC logo in Europe per year.

Chris Britton, Findus Group CEO, said: “As one of Europe’s leading food companies it is right that Findus Group plays its part to help ensure a sustainable seafood industry, which is why we have consistently supported the MSC for more than a decade and it is now established as the key global certification for wild caught fish. Whilst open to the possibility of using other equivalent schemes in the future, we recognise that MSC is currently the only international consumer-facing label for sustainable seafood and now has sufficient scale that it is realistic for us to strengthen our own brands by using it for all our wild caught purchases.”

“Our 2012 MSC ambition is an important component of our sustainability agenda. By raising the bar on this issue we hope to provide added stimulus for those fisheries not yet pursuing independent sustainability certification to go down this route.”

“We know that some fisheries face a tough challenge in driving for the MSC standard, particularly in dealing with issues such as traceability and information management. However, our Fish for Life vision drives us to engage actively with suppliers and we will use our experience and our infrastructure to support individual fisheries as they work towards the MSC goal.”

“This move will require considerable investment but we believe a stronger commitment to the MSC is a natural next step for our Fish for Life programme.”

Rupert Howes, MSC Chief Executive commented: “As one of Europe’s largest frozen food brands, the Findus Group’s decision today to deepen its commitment to the MSC programme is very important for the seafood market and the future of the world’s oceans and fisheries. The decision will lead the way to a significant increase in products bearing the MSC ecolabel across Europe, offering consumers more sustainable seafood choices. It will encourage wider participation from fisheries, catalysing further improvements in the way the oceans are fished, and effect further transformations in the seafood supply chain around the world.

“The support from the Findus Group over the last ten years has been a critical factor in the establishment of a market for certified sustainable seafood and we look forward to working closely with them and their partners to achieve their target.”

The Fish for Life programme also covers the sourcing of farmed fish which are of increasing importance to the Findus Group seafood portfolio.  The Findus Group is actively working with bodies such as the GAA, GlobalGap and WWF in the development of credible standards for a number of farmed species and endorses progress towards a consumer facing sustainability label for farmed fish through the establishment of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.