It is our mission to safeguard the oceans, today and for generations to come.
That’s why we want to set an example by sourcing and preparing our fish responsibly. Especially as fish and seafood products are such an iconic part of our brands.
We’ve been protecting fish and seafood supplies through our brands for over 20 years and although we source fish sustainably or that which is responsibly certified, the ocean is under great pressure.
Climate change, ocean pollution, overfishing and IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing) are threatening marine life and seafood supply. The global demand for fish and seafood continues to rise, making it difficult to tackle overfishing. This is threatening fish stock in many parts of the world.
We use the UN Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct as a guide on how to source our fish (wild caught and farmed) responsibly. We don’t accept any fish that is IUU or that comes from overfished stocks.
We also collaborate with marine and aquaculture fisheries management organisations and policymakers to adopt the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries principles.
Wild Captured Fish & Seafood
Since becoming a founding member of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in 1997, our commitment to continuously increase the amount of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish that we source for Birds Eye products has led to quantifiable results. Today, more than 90% of the wild captured fish we use is MSC certified and we are by far the largest user of the MSC Ecolabel globally. We use the MSC standard for independent assessments as we believe it is the toughest fisheries certification standard available.
As part of Europe’s largest frozen food company, our goal is to help consumers make healthy and nutritious food choices and to eat more fish and seafood across Europe. Our long-term relationship with the MSC means that, as we achieve our goals, we will naturally increase the volume of MSC certified fish eaten by consumers now and in the years to come. By supporting the MSC, we also support the principles of UN SDG 14 and play a role in providing consumers with sustainably sourced fish.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The MSC is an international non-profit organisation established to ensure healthy, sustainable, well-managed fish stock for now and future generations.
We use the MSC standard because:
- It ensures that our fish and seafood can be traced back to an independently assessed, certified, sustainable point of catch
- It ensures that our fish and seafood is handled with care. From ocean to plate, is tracked and clearly labelled so it can be traced to a certified sustainable fishery
- It’s robust and credible, thanks to being science-based and internationally recognised
Aquaculture production (fish and shellfish farming) is one of the newest and fastest growing forms of food production. It currently makes up half of the global fish and shellfish production, and the proportionate share of aquaculture in total world fish and seafood production will continue to rise.
That’s why aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important source of fish and seafood and why it’s crucial that its farms and fish companies act responsibly. This is especially important in areas where production expansion puts sensitive environments under increasing pressure. Without improvements in management and technology, rising levels of production will lead to unsustainable pressures on the environment both globally and within the immediate environment of farms in which aquaculture takes place.
Aquaculture directly impacts biophysical resources, water quality, habitat integrity, and ecological diversity.
It also has the potential to help local communities:
- Prosper through creating more job opportunities with increased income
- Have access to better nutrition
- Empower farmers
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
Certification schemes like the ASC have demonstrated that market-based mechanisms have the power to drive positive change throughout the whole supply chain. As one of its key mechanisms for promoting change, the ASC use standards that map out what responsible aquaculture looks like. They are science based, reflect best practice, and include quantitative performance indicators. The standards help to transform aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility by providing a means to promote and reward responsible farming practices, and to influence the choices people make when buying fish and seafood.
Tracing our fish stock
All of our wild caught fish can be traced back to the point of capture. We designed our Fish Provenance Tool to enable shoppers to learn where their fish comes from, reassuring them that the fish in our fish fingers is certified. This tool is currently live in six of our markets and we are working to expand it.