By Lewis Smith
Sainsbury’s sells more products with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) guarantees of sustainability than any other supermarket, it has been announced.
The retailer was declared the “best sustainable seafood supermarket in the world” after it was calculated that it offered 225 different products boasting MSC certification of sustainability.
Worldwide there are more than 20,000 products with the MSC eco-label, widely considered to be the gold standard of certification schemes. They come from more than 300 fisheries in the waters of more than 30 countries.
Sainsbury’s topped the annual league table put together by the MSC to assess the sustainability of seafood sold in the UK. While researching the league table it was realised the retailer sold a wider range of MSC products than any other supermarket in the world.
Waitrose, with 112 MSC products, Tesco with 96, Lidl with 86 and Aldi with 74 were also praised for the number of available. Morrison’s was at the bottom of the league table.
Toby Middleton, of the MSC, said customers need guarantees of sustainability if they are to be able to decide with seafood is ethically produced and which are the products of overfishing or other environmental issues.
“It’s all about choice,” he said. “Most of us don’t have the time to read up on sustainable sourcing and we shouldn’t have to. The MSC label means the ‘science bit’ has been done for you.
“Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi are offering their customers clear labelling and the chance to make a difference, helping to protect fish stocks for our children and our grandchildren.
“In contrast, at the bottom of the league, there simply isn’t the independent information you need to help you choose and those shoppers are missing out.”
Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “At Sainsbury’s, we know that buying sustainable products is important to our customers, and this award gives them the confidence that when they buy fish and seafood from Sainsbury’s, it can be traced from boat to store.
“Because of the sheer quantity of MSC certified products we have at Sainsbury’s, our customers have the widest choice of quality fish and seafood products that are fished in a responsible way ensuring fish populations remain healthy and where fishing methods minimise environmental impact. We’re delighted that Sainsbury’s has been recognised yet again for our commitment to sustainable sourcing.”