Seafood businesses launch sustainable labelling and sourcing codes
A coalition of major seafood suppliers, brands, supermarkets and restaurants has agreed and published two codes of conduct regarding its environmental labelling and sourcing policies.
The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) has unveiled a 'labelling code', which ensures consumers are sure about what environmental claims on fish and seafood mean; while a 'sourcing code' ensures coalition members source their fish and seafood products responsibly.
The SCC is a coalition of major seafood suppliers, brands, supermarkets and restaurants brought together in 2011 by environmental law group, ClientEarth. The union was created to address the issue of the misleading environmental claims made by seafood brands on their products.
SSC members signing up to the labelling code include Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Lyons Seafoods, New England Seafood Limited, The Saucy Fish Co. / Icelandic Group UK Ltd, Young's Seafood Limited, Direct Seafoods and M&J Seafood.
By agreeing to the labelling code, these businesses must make sure all voluntary claims like 'sustainably sourced' and 'responsibly sourced' made on their own-brand products are consistent, clear and accurate. New packaging, in line with the code, will be printed from 18 September 2015.
Members signing up to the sourcing code are: Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Feng Sushi, Harbour Lights Falmouth, River Cottage, Lyons Seafoods, New England Seafood Limited, The Saucy Fish Co. / Icelandic Group UK Ltd, Young's Seafood Limited, Direct Seafoods, Le Lien Ltd, M&J Seafood.
By agreeing to the sourcing code, members commit to having good traceability, clarity about sourcing policies, and the implementation of annual risk assessments on fisheries and audits for aquaculture sources.
ClientEarth's chief executive James Thornton said: "People looking for sustainable fish have often had too little information about where their fish and seafood comes from. When we launched the Sustainable Seafood Coalition three years ago, some thought getting so many businesses to agree to codes like this was impossible. The members deserve a lot of credit for showing it can be done."