Washington, D.C. – Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel chain with properties in the Americas that are both Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified for sustainable and responsible practices. One restaurant at both Iberostar Grand Paraíso, in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, and Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has achieved Chain of Custody (CoC) certification from MSC for wild caught seafood and ASC for farm raised seafood. The certification assures consumers that both hotel restaurants are sourcing their seafood from certified suppliers, and the seafood is traceable back to a sustainable fishery or responsibly managed farm.
Iberostar is achieving these certifications as part of their commitment to the oceans through its Wave of Change movement’s three pillars: moving beyond plastics, promoting coastal health, and ensuring responsible consumption of seafood where it operates. Iberostar Hotels & Resorts became the first hotel chain in southern Europe to achieve MSC Chain of Custody certification in 2018 when four of its restaurants at four of its hotels gained certification in Spain. One more restaurant has been certificated in Spain in 2019, along with the two Iberostar properties in Dominican Republic and Mexico. Both restaurants in the Americas source from Ocean Leader, one of the first suppliers in Mexico to obtain certification, and Frigoríficos Bahia, the first supplier in the Dominican Republic to gain certification.
“Iberostar’s commitment to responsible tourism and protection of the oceans is continually growing with its Wave of Change movement. One of our first major steps was to start obtaining MSC and ASC CoC Certifications where we operate to allow for the traceability of key seafood products” says Dr. Megan Morikawa, Director of Sustainability for the group. “We see this as one step in a larger commitment, where dozens of suppliers, thousands of staff, and millions of clients are guided by best seafood practices and join in this movement with us.”
To be sold as MSC or ASC certified, seafood from MSC certified fisheries or ASC certified farms can only be handled, processed and packaged by organizations with a valid Chain of Custody certificate. These organizations are audited regularly by independent certification bodies to ensure that they comply with the MSC and ASC Chain of Custody Standard. This requires that MSC or ASC certified seafood is only purchased from certified suppliers and is always identifiable, segregated from non-certified seafood and sold with the correct paperwork identifying it as certified. MSC’s Chain of Custody Standard is used for both MSC and ASC supply chains, allowing companies that handle both MSC and ASC certified seafood to do a combined audit. MSC regularly monitors the supply chain and auditor application of the MSC Standard to ensure that requirements are being followed correctly.
“Chain of Custody certification is important for supply chain sustainability as well as for consumers, because it assures that standards are met throughout the supply chain, and that the products are traceable back to a sustainable fishery,” said Brian Perkins, Senior Director, Americas for the Marine Stewardship Council. “Iberostar is demonstrating leadership in sustainability with this achievement, and we’re proud to see their commitment to sustainable seafood at hotel properties in Latin America.”
“Guests at these two restaurants in Iberostar hotels in the Americas will now be able to choose seafood that has been farmed in a responsible way, and that’s not just good news for the guests but also for the ASC certified farms and suppliers who are being rewarded for their responsible practices,” said Kathleen Mullen-Ley, ASC US Commercial Manager. “Improving practices in aquaculture requires collaboration from producers, suppliers, the commercial sector, and many more, and Iberostar has shown that they are playing their part by giving their guests the option to eat certified and traceable seafood.”
The certified hotel restaurants must undergo annual audits to ensure MSC and ASC standards continue to be met.
About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable fisheries and seafood. Check restaurant menus, the frozen and canned goods aisles, the fresh fish case, the supplements section, and even the pet food aisle for the blue fish.
Look for the blue fish on your seafood:
· It’s simple: An easy way to identify ocean-friendly, sustainable seafood.
· Eat well: Know that your seafood is as good for the oceans as it is for you.
· Feel good: Support fishermen, fishing communities, and companies that care as much as you do.
· Rest easy: Know exactly where your seafood comes from.
More than 300 fisheries in over 34 countries are certified to MSC’s Standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of 12 million metric tons, representing 15% of global marine catch. More than 35,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC label. For more information visitwww.msc.org and follow @MSCBlueFish on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for regular updates.
The MSC program could not exist without the many fishers around the world who work to safeguard stocks, ecosystems, and their own livelihoods. Read stories about fishermen working hard to safeguard our oceans.
The Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) that has been operating in the tourist sector since 1956 and whose business activity dates back to 1877. Its sales network covers 35 countries, it has a staff of more than 32,000 employees and handles eight million customers a year. Hospitality is the company’s core business, with a portfolio of more than 120 four- and five-star hotels located in 19[NK5] countries on three continents. In addition to the hotels, the Group has a further three business units: travel and incoming activities, a holiday club and real estate.
Iberostar Group is owned by the Fluxá family and chaired by Miguel Fluxá Rosselló, founder of the Group’s current hotel unit and the Iberostar Hotels & Resorts brand. His daughters Sabina and Gloria are the Company’s two Vice-Chairwomen. Sabina is also the Group’s CEO and Gloria holds the post of Chief Sustainability Officer.
About the Aquaculture Stewardship Council
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.
ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.
The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and on society.
For more information about ASC, please visit www.asc-aqua.org.