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Supply Chain

Untitled Document

Sustainable Fishing

Sustaining Goodness


Overview

The unsustainable harvest of the world’s oceans has led to the depletion, and in some cases collapse, of many major fish stocks globally. While the outlook for these threatened marine ecosystems remains bleak in the face of unsustainable fishing practices, those involved in the seafood industry are realising that the long-term viability of their industry can be ensured by re-assessing the way they conduct business.

The WWF’s response to the deepening crisis was to seek out key retailer partners with whom to strategically work throughthe chain of custody, at one end informing consumers about the threat to our marine ecosystems to influence demand, while at the other engaging with the fishing industry around responsible harvesting.

Pick n Pay has been actively engaging with WWF-SA and the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) through SASSI’s Retailer Participation Scheme since its inception and, in 2010, signed a partnership agreement with the WWF to support the conservation organisation’s Sustainable Fisheries Programme, of which SASSI forms a part.

Pick n Pay is the first retailer in Africa to commit to transforming their entire fresh, frozen and canned seafood operations by the end of 2015. The three-year partnership agreement, worth R6.1 million, aims to restore over-exploited fish stocks to sustainably managed levels, while maintaining or improving the state of other stocks.


Sustainable Seafood Policy & commitements:

Pick n Pay acknowledge that there is global concern over the exploitation of seafood resources and the environmental impact of fishery and aquaculture activities on marine and aquatic ecosystems. As a retailer and a significant role player in the seafood industry we can help to drive positive change in fisheries by supporting and promoting sustainable seafood choices from legal and responsibly managed sources.

Procurement

Pick n Pay defines sustainable seafood as: Seafood which originates from a fishery or farm which could continue to operate indefinitely without reducing the target species, or any other species in the marine ecosystems’, ability to maintain a viable population. A sustainable species should:

  • Not be a species that is regarded as endangered or threatened
  • Be caught in a well-managed fishery by registered commercial fishers
  • Be caught/farmed using responsible fishing/farming methods
  • Be traceable from "boat/farm to plate"

As such we commit to transforming our fresh, frozen and canned seafood operations to ensure that by the end of 2015 we will only sell seafood products which are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-caught products or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for farmed products, or equivalent standards or which are categorised as Green by WWF SA’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).

Our overall goal is to increase the availability of sustainable seafood and promote responsible fishing practices and we recognise that a significant proportion of the world's fisheries/aquaculture facilities do not currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability. Rather than simply discontinue sourcing, we would rather use our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path to become sustainable for these operations. Thus, by the end of 2015, in order to continue supplying Pick n Pay, any fisheries/aquaculture facilities whose seafood products do not meet Pick n Pay’s sustainability requirements must be engaged in a credible, time-bound improvement project.

Pick n Pay will cease procuring all seafood products not meeting these criteria by the end of 2015.


Labelling

Pick n Pay believes that our consumers have the right to sufficient and accurate information about any seafood product on sale, in order to make environmentally responsible choices. In this regard we commit to providing our consumers with information on the common and scientific name, as well as the country of origin of all of our seafood products. We also commit to training our staff so as to help consumers to make more environmentally-aware seafood choices.
 


Implementation Strategy

Timelines

Table

Steps


Year 1

1. Procurement guidelines

Without clear Procurement Guidelines suppliers are not adequately informed about the role they are required to play in assisting an operation achieve its seafood sustainability targets.

  1. Develop comprehensive procurement criteria that:
  2. exclude species that do not comply with definition of sustainable seafood but include species from sources that are incredible improvement projects to improve the sustainability status of their operations, and
  3. ensure that all relevant seafood sustainability aspects of packaging, invoicing, traceability, species verification and legal compliance have clear guidelines.
  4. Implement systems to ensure that criteria effectively influence procurement decisions.
     
2. Review of sustainability in procurement streams

To make informed decisions about how to address seafood sustainability in an operation it is vital to first assess all the seafood species that are procured.

  1. Compile a complete and current Procurement List of all seafood species traded detailing:
  2. common name,
  3. scientific name,
  4. country of origin or if applicable FAO catch area,
  5. production method, and
  6. gear type / aquaculture system.
  7. Verify information in Procurement List by requesting suppliers complete a Supplier Questionnaire for all species supplied.
  8. Preliminary assessment of sustainability in procurement streams using SASSI database to determine species sustainability status.

Labelling & transparency

In the absence of a credible eco-label, consumers require sufficient information from on-product labelling to be able to make a choice based on the sustainability of the seafood species contained in the product they are considering. Adequate traceability systems are critical to verify the sustainability status of seafood species procured.

  1. Review labelling of all seafood products sold and develop time bound action plan to have all products labelled with:
  2. species common name,
  3. species scientific name,
  4. country of origin or if applicable FAO catch area,
  5. wild caught or farmed.
  6. Engage suppliers of pre-packaged products to ensure that appropriate detail is reflected on labelling of product.
  7. Review traceability systems used to verify species origin and ensure that sustainability risk in procurement streams is
    effectively managed.
  8. Review labelling strategies and monitor implementation in Year 3.
     

Year 2

4. Assessment


To ensure that sustainability targets are achieved, a detailed assessment needs to be done on all seafood species procured.

  1. Detailed assessment of species procured to accurately identify:
  2. full sustainability status of species, including identifying species originating from credible:
  3. Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP),
  4. Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIP), or
  5. Local Improvement Projects (LIP),
  6. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification of fisheries or aquaculture operations procured from (or progress thereto),
  7. challenges, in terms of seafood sustainability, encountered by source fisheries & aquaculture operations and where opportunities exist for engagement, and
  8. alternatives for species where engagement with source is not viable.
     
Species Strategies


It is vital to formulate clear strategies which indicate how sustainability concerns associated with priority species in an operation are addressed.

  1. Species strategies developed for all species procured that have associated sustainability concerns. Review species strategies and monitor implementation in Year 4.
     
Staff training


By training key staff and incorporating sustainability content into training programmes, it ensures that effective messaging reaches customers and suppliers. This is an on-going process.

  1. Ensure that all relevant procurement and sales staff have attended a SASSI training course (either external or an in-house presentation).
  2. Develop sustainable seafood content for all relevant staff training programmes (e.g. Induction program, sales training, procurement strategy courses, etc.).
  3. Maintain a training log and roster for all relevant staff that are required to attend an annual SASSI training course.
     

Year 3

Review labelling of all seafood products sold

  1. Ensure that all products are adequately labelled. For products not meeting labelling requirements, ensure that deadlines for compliance are achievable and communicated to relevant suppliers.
     
Awareness and communications

  1. Engage in campaigns to raise awareness of SASSI amongst customer base, this is an on-going process.
  2. Ensure that relevant policies, commitments and guidelines are:
  3. effectively communicated internally and externally, and
  4. adequately inform relevant business operations.
     

Year 4
Review of species strategies

  1. Monitor progress of FIP’s, AIP’s and IP’s that pertain to species in procurement streams. Ensure that the requirements of the work plans for these projects are being adequately met.
     
Review progress towards meeting commitment date

  1. Procurement list reviewed to ensurethat all species on offered for sale are:
  2. MSC / ASC certified products,
  3. SASSI Green listed species, or
  4. products containing species which originate from a fishery / farm that is engaged in a credible improvement project.
     
Important Contacts:

WWF:John Duncan (Market Transformation Manager) jduncan@wwf.org.za
 Chris Kastern(Retail Engagement Officer)                 ckastern@wwf.org.za

Participant:Andre Nel (Sustainability Manager)           anel@pnp.co.za
 Cliff van Diggelen (Procurement)                            cvandiggelen@pnp.co.za



fishes


What are Pick n Pay's sustainable seafood commitments?


Pick n Pay was a founding partner of the WWF-SASSI Scheme and in 2010 announced that it had signed a partnership agreement with the WWF Sustainable Fisheries Programme in a bid to support the conversation organisation's Sustainable Fisheries Programme.

The three-year partnership in which Pick n Pay is investing more than R6 million supports the WWF's drive to promote an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), recognising the critical role that marine ecosystems play in maintaining resilient socio-cultural systems in the face of growing threats of climate change and food security. In 2011 Pick n Pay committed to transforming its fresh, frozen and canned seafood operations to ensure that, by the end of 2015, it will only sell seafood products which are either:

  • Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-caught products;
  • Certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for farmed products, or equivalent standards:
  • Certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for farmed products, or equivalent standards:
  • Come from fisheries or farms which are engaged in credible, time-bound improvement projects
     

Why is Pick n Pay currently still selling orange listed lines?

Pick n Pay was a founding partner of the WWF-SASSI and is the only retailer in Africa to commit to changing its sourcing practices, to only stock sustainably sourced seafood by the end of 2015.

At the moment there is not enough sustainably sourced seafood products available, for us to be able to only stock sustainably sourced products. For us to meet this goal, we have to recognize that a significant proportion of the world's fisheries/aquaculture facilities does not currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability and rather than simply discontinue sourcing, we will be using our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path for to become sustainable for these operations. It is not illegal to sell fish that are on the orange list, they may be sold by registered commercial fishermen and retailers. Although SASSI advises consumers to think twice before buying these species because of the environmental concerns associated with these species, WWF-SASSI recognises that there are significant financial and livelihood implications associated with removing these species from shelves.

Our aim is therefore not to only change the way we source our seafood products, but through partnering with WWF-SA, rather than simply discontinue sourcing from suppliers, we would rather use our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path for suppliers to become sustainable in their operations.



What is the MSC and why does Pick n Pay support it?

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO 'Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries' require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:

  • Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
  • Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
  • Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO 'Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries' require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:

Pick n Pay is committed to the MSC because we believe that the MSC is the gold-standard for sustainability in wild capture fisheries. All MSC-certified products should carry the MSC eco-label to help consumers identify sustainable products on the retailer shelves. All MSC certified products are included on the SASSI Green list. Find more about the MSC on their website (www.msc.org)
 


What is the ASC and why does Pick n Pay support it?


The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (http://www.ascworldwide.org/) is the equivalent of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) but is concerned with aquacultured/farmed species while the MSC only covers wild-caught species. Similar to the MSC, the ASC is an independent not for profit organisation. The ASC was founded in 2009 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, which are developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues, a program of roundtables initiated and coordinated by WWF.

Through the Aquaculture Dialogues process, over 1000 stakeholders have been involved in developing best-practice environmental standards for aquaculture operations for the 12 most popular aquaculture species in the world. Many of these standards are now complete but the ASC is still in development but when the final standards and the logo are launched (later in 2011/early 2012), it is hoped that the ASC will become the world's leading certification and labelling programme for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC will be a global organisation working with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental and social choice in seafood. The species currently covered by the aquaculture dialogues are the following:

  • Shrimps/prawns
  • Bivalves
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Pangasius/Basa
  • Seriola
  • Trout
  • Abalone
  • Cobia

Pick n Pay is committed to the ASC because we believe that the ASC will be the gold-standard for sustainability in aquaculture. When the standards are finalised and the logo is launched, all ASC-certified products should carry the ASC eco-label to help consumers identify sustainable products on the retailer shelves. All ASC certified products will be included on the SASSI Green list



Goodness Pick n Pay

Why have PnP committed to the ASC or 'equivalent standards'?

Pick n Pay recognises that the ASC will become the gold-standard for sustainability in aquaculture as it has the most comprehensive environmental standards for aquaculture which are being developed according to ISEAL guidelines of multi-stakeholder, open and transparent, science-based performance metrics.

It is Pick n Pay's long-term intention to procure only ASC certified aquaculture products or ones that are placed on the SASSI Green list. However, because the ASC is still in development, it is likely that it will still take some time for the ASC to develop and certify enough aquaculture products to meet the international demands for sustainable aquaculture products by 2016. For this reason, in the absence of ASC certified products, Pick n Pay in consultation with WWF, will determine which other aquaculture eco-labels will be recognised on a case-by-case basis.
 


What are improvement projets and why is Pick n Pay supporting them?

Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIP) and Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIP) are projects in which WWF or other partner NGOs work together with fisheries or aquaculture farms, businesses and other nongovernmental organizations to move a fishery or farm towards meeting the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards for sustainable fisheries or aquaculture. WWF is already engaged in a number of projects locally and there are a number of other WWF offices around the world who are currently engaged in similar improvement projects.

Pick n Pay have chosen to support these improvement projects because our long-term goal is to increase the availability of sustainable seafood and promote responsible fishing practices and we recognise that a significant proportion of the world's fisheries/aquaculture facilities do not currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability. Rather than simply discontinue sourcing, we would rather use our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path to become sustainable for these operations. However, it is important that these improvement projects are in fact creating positive changes on the water, which is where we are reliant on WWF as our partner to ensure that these projects are credible and include time-bound targets and responsibilities. PnP and WWF will continue to monitor these projects to ensure that they are achieving the agreed-upon improvements, fisheries/farms that fail to meet their commitments under these improvement projects will be delisted.
 


How is PnP going to achieve these commitments?

We have set ourselves the target of achieving these commitments by the end of 2015. During this time we are engaging with our suppliers extensively to share our vision with them and help them understand the importance of sustainability in the seafood sector. We have been working with WWF's Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) since 2008 on our seafood procurement and will continue to work closely with SASSI to help us meet these commitments. We are confident that our commitments are attainable and would like to challenge other retailers to make similar commitments to help drive this process forward.

To view the SASSI card and other related documents please click on the links below.

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