Waitrose launches new responsible fishing pledge
Waitrose has launched a new responsible fishing pledge that will see the supermarket buy all of its seafood from independently certified sources by the end of 2016.
The retailer said the pledge will enable it ensure a longer-term guarantee of sustainability in the face of increasing global pressure on fish stocks. According to Nielsen, Waitrose sells 12% of the fish bought in British supermarkets.
Waitrose fish buyer Jeremy Langley said: "For us, this pledge feels like a natural evolution of our long-standing responsible fishing policy. We started to have concerns over stocks of some of our favourite fish in 1997 - we thought this was something we needed to look at so we started work building a policy with our suppliers.
"Our Waitrose policies have been evolving for more than 15 years, and will continue to evolve. But - with global demand for fish increasing, and the size of our business increasing - we need to ensure we’re putting the right steps in place now if we’re to ensure a sustainable supply of fish in the decades to come."
The first major change will involve all Waitrose fresh, smoked and breaded cod and haddock being certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council from 6 May.
Langley added: "This is a major step in our pledge to become 100% fully certified by 2016. And being two of the ‘big five’ species, cod and haddock account for a significant proportion of our sales so it’s a satisfying step forward."
The announcement is one of 12 CSR pledges that Waitrose is launching publicly today as part of the Waitrose Way Commitments. These include initiatives to cut waste and use less energy, championing British food and regional suppliers, making time for staff to volunteer for good causes, and making it easier for customers to make healthier choices when buying food.
Waitrose head of sustainability and ethical sourcing Quentin Clark said: "As a nation we're getting busier, and lack of time means we need to be able to trust the retailer we are using. So when creating these pledges we made sure the emphasis was on how we we're being part of the solution, now and in the future - we want it to be really easy for our customers to know we’re doing right thing."
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