Seafood is the daily source of protein for 3 billion people, making it an important part of our business. As marine fish stocks decline and demand increases, both the global fishing industry as well as the marine ecosystem face tough challenges. Destructive fishing methods and climate change are heavily damaging ocean environments. Similarly, the seafood industry experiences pressure from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, undermining efforts to ensure sustainable production.
In the face of these challenges, numerous solutions have seen the light of day. Growth in responsible farmed fish is a promising solution to the issue of declining fish stocks. At sea, more sustainable ways of fishing are helping fish stocks recover with new fishing techniques that reduce by-catch. In addition, a growing amount of research is done to help the industry understand the impact it has on life under water. With all this knowledge, fishing can be regulated to ensure that fish stocks are able to recover.
Ahold Delhaize and its brands are working hard to make sure that all our own brand seafood is responsibly sourced. In practice this means buying seafood with trustworthy certifications recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), including the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Where certification is not available, we work with partners like WWF in Greece, ILVO in Belgium, or the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) in the US to take a close and critical look at our seafood assortment, and help us purchase only low risk seafood.
We have set two targets for ourselves to reach by 2020:
1. 100% of own-brand seafood product sales certified against an
acceptable standard, from sustainable sources assessed by a
credible third party, or from credible FIPs/AIPs (currently 98%)
2. 100% of own-brand seafood product sales with an identified farm/
fishery of origin (target met)