A source of concern
Fisher Foods has been active in promoting the use of ICMS (Integrated Crop Management Systems) with the growers who are programmed to supply the company's frozen and chilled food factories. ICMS integrates care for the environment and for wildlife into an approach to economically viable crop production that requires the minimum use of agro-chemicals. Where possible, field margins and hedgerow 'corridors' are left to provide habitats and migration tracks for wildlife and field activities are scheduled to minimise their impacts on wildlife. To complement its contribution to ICMS, the company has also been a long-term supporter of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). LEAF is a charity which runs a well respected self-audit scheme for farmers, for which the audit parameters are chosen to promote the economically viable production of wholesome produce in a manner which protects the environment and the social structures and fabric of the British countryside.
On the seafood side, Fisher Foods was an early contributor to the work of the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). The MSC was established to promote sustainable fishing through the use of an accredited labelling scheme which identifies fish from sustainable fisheries for consumers.
Beyond the UK, Fisher Foods has been concerned to ensure that its overseas supplies, especially those from the developing countries, are sourced from and through organisations which operate acceptable ethical and social practices. Fisher Foods moved early to involve itself in pilot projects with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The ETI is an alliance of companies (suppliers and retailers), trade unions and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations), which collaborate as equal partners to apply principles embodied in a Base Code of social and ethical best practice to the supply of consumer goods imported goods imported into Britain. The ETI promotes a multi-stakeholder approach in dealing with issues and practical matters arising in these supply chains, with a view to achieving outcomes which are equitable for all parties involved.