Woolworths Commits To Sourcing ASC Certified Seafood

Leading South African retailer, Woolworths, has pledged to source their farmed seafood from sustainable and responsible operations by 2020.

Woolworths has joined a growing number of businesses making formal commitments to support responsible aquaculture practices. The premium food and clothing retailer introduced its sustainable seafood policy in 2008 and was the first retailer to sign the WWF-SASSI Retail Charter*, it then went on to introduce its Fishing for the Future programme.

By the end of 2015, all of Woolworths’ farmed products will be sourced from aquaculture operations that are:

  • engaged in a credible, time-bound improvement project* or, where applicable
  • WWF-SASSI green-listed, or
  • formally committed to achieving the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification or have other credible standards in place.

And by the end of 2020, all aquaculture species sold will be:

  • from aquaculture operations that are engaged in a credible, time-bound Improvement Project*, or
  • WWF-SASSI green-listed, or
  • where applicable, ASC (or equivalent) certified.

Committing to a responsible future

Woolworths prides itself on providing its customers with a wide range of seafood from responsible, well-managed sources. To achieve this they worked for many years with organisations such as WWF to help them meet their goals.

Hezron Joseph, Woolworths Seafood Technologist, said: “Woolworths is dedicated to seafood sustainability and providing the best for our customers. Through our Fishing for the Future programme we are helping aquaculture become a more environmentally and socially responsible choice for our customers. Our commitments, which include the ASC, help us achieve this by ensuring that our seafood is responsibly sourced and traceable back to the farm that raised it.”

Esther Luiten, ASC’s Commercial Marketing Manager, said: “I applaud Woolworths for its commitment to responsible aquaculture and recognising the importance of moving global production to a more sustainable basis. It is great that Woolworths is offering a responsible choice for consumers in South Africa. I look forward to working with them as they strive to meet their sustainability goals.”

More information around their public commitments and other milestones can be found on their website at www.woolworths.co.za

Helping consumers make positive choices

To meet their commitment, Woolworths hopes to offer consumers ASC certified trout, salmon and shrimp in the near future.

The ASC on-product logo makes it easier for consumers to get involved and make positive environmental and socially responsible choices. The commitment by Woolworths means consumers will find it easier to choose certified responsible seafood.

ASC certified seafood, bearing the consumer label, is a credible responsible product that helps retailers address the growing demand for responsibly produced seafood.

* World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) supplier participation scheme that recognise organisations that have made public and timebound commitments to sustainable seafood.


About ASC

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation founded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.

The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) 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

Source:  The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)