Pick n PaY and

Sustainable Seafood

How Pick n Pay is working to ensure sustainable seafood.

Our Commitment to
Seafood Sustainability

Pick n Pay has committed to only sell seafood products that have been sourced from environmentally responsible fisheries and farms. The project has taken five years to come to fruition and during this time period a great deal of effort was spent on formulating procurement strategies, training staff, improving traceability systems, addressing labelling issues, as well as assessing the sustainability of all procurement streams. All this work laid the foundation which enabled Pick n Pay to drive significant improvement in the procurement of sustainable seafood products.

Pick n Pay was the first retailer in Africa to make sustainable seafood commitments and we remain committed to ensure that all our seafood products comply with one of the following seafood sustainability criteria:

1. Certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-caught products;

2. Certified as sustainable by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC; or equivalent) for farmed products;

3. Categorised as ‘Green’ by WWF-SA’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF-SASSI); or

4. Sourced from fisheries or farms which are engaged in credible, time-bound improvement projects.

The majority of our seafood products already meet the above criteria. For the products that are not yet in compliance, we have developed strategies that involves constructive engagement with suppliers and fishermen to foster responsible environmental governance and sustainable fishing practices. These strategies have been developed in accordance with the WWF-SA Procurement Guidelines and we will report publicly on the progress of implementation.

IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

How Pick n Pay works to support transformation in the seafood sector

Coupled with the leading role we want to play in driving positive change through fisheries and aquaculture operations, we also want to promote responsible practices in these sectors. Pick n Pay recognises that a significant proportion of the world's fisheries and aquaculture products don’t currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability. Therefore in addition to aiming to increase the variety and availability of sustainable seafood for our customers, we also want to use our buying power as an incentive and a clear pathway for fisheries and aquaculture operations to become sustainable through the use of improvement projects.

To make it easy for our stakeholders, suppliers and buyers, we have developed the following guidelines which clarify which projects qualify as Improvement Projects [that is, Fisheries Projects (FPs) and Aquaculture Projects (APs)] that we will support.

Fishery Projects

Pick n Pay defines Fishery Projects (FPs) as:

1) Projects with the specific goal of enabling a fishery (local or international) to reach the necessary sustainability standards to enter full assessment by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC); or

2) Locally developed projects which focus primarily on the improvement in the environmental performance of a fishery using WWF-SASSI assessments of the relevant seafood products as the primary measure; or

3) Procurement strategies, specifically developed to shift current procurement for groups of species that do not meet PnP’s sustainability criteria to alternative sources for species that do.

Aquaculture Projects

Pick n Pay defines Aquaculture Projects (APs) as:

1) Projects with the specific goal of enabling an aquaculture operation (local or international) to reach the necessary sustainability standards to enter full assessment by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC; or equivalent standard), or

2) Locally developed projects which focus primarily on the improvement in the environmental performance of the operations using WWF-SASSI assessments of the relevant seafood products as the primary measure; or

3) Procurement strategies, specifically developed to shift current procurement for groups of species that do not meet PnP’s sustainability criteria to alternative sources for species that do.

Important Criteria

To be recognised by Pick n Pay, Improvement Projects require:

  • A work plan with measureable indicators and milestones along a defined timeline;
  • A system for tracking and reporting progress against the indicators in the work plan;
  • Documented willingness from participants to make improvements (e.g. signed memorandum of understanding, correspondence/contract between parties stating a commitment, letter of support or intent, etc.);
  • Documented willingness from participants to make investments required to achieve improvements as outlined in the work plan, including clear roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders;
  • A pre-defined maximum timespan where relevant e.g. 5 years to start MSC/ASC full assessment;
  • Regular review of progress and transparency of the review-results, to be conducted at least annually; and
  • Agreed communication activities between the parties involved with the minimum requirement being that the scope of the project, workplan and annual progress reports are publically available.

Criteria Notes

  • Pick n Pay considers MSC certification as the ‘gold standard’ of wild-capture fisheries certification schemes as it is consistent with the United Nations best practice guidelines for ecolabelling and certification.
  • Pick n Pay recognises ASC certification as the ‘gold standard’ for responsible aquaculture as it is a full member of the ISEAL Alliance and is in compliance with ISEAL's Standard-Setting Code.
  • Pick n Pay will continue to support and communicate about progress in existing FPs and APs, conditional upon the source fishery and aquaculture operations reaching certain standards and milestones within agreed timelines, with the relevant parties involved.

For more information or to support our FPs and APs, please contact us on sustainableliving@pnp.co.za Or see our Frequently Asked Questions

Seafood species in our procurement

DISCLAIMER

  • This list of species covers all of the economically relevant species in Pick n Pay’s procurement stream
  • The species information was compiled with assistance from WWF-SA
  • The illustrations by Elaine Heemstra were originally produced for the book, Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa (2004) by Phil and Elaine Heemstra, published by NISC-SA and SAIAB. Anyone wishing to use these illustrations must first seek permission and contact saiab@saiab.ac.za
  • The illustration by Dave Voorveld was originally produced for the book, A Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa (1993) and (2001) by Paul Skelton published by STRUIK. Anyone wishing to use these illustrations must first seek permission and contact saiab@saiab.ac.za.

SOURCES

  1. 1 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/31/
  2. 2 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/50/
  3. 3 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/89/
  4. 4 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/43/
  5. 5 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/45/
  6. 6 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/47/
  7. 7 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/51/
  8. 8 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/54/
  9. 9 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/57/
  10. 10 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/65/
  11. 11 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/66/
  12. 12 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/83/
  13. 13 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/74/
  14. 14 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/76/
  15. 15 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/108/
  16. 16 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/87/
  17. 17 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/84/
  18. 18 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/85/
  19. 19 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/116/
  20. 20 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/97/
  21. 21 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/98/
  22. 22 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/99/
  23. 23 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/112/
  24. 24 http://wwfsassi.co.za/fish-detail/113/

Frequently Asked Questions

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 organisation's Sustainable Fisheries Programme. Since the initiation of this partnership, Pick n Pay has invested R13.5 million in 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 as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-caught products;
  • Certified as sustainable by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC; or equivalent) for farmed products
  • Categorised as ‘Green’ by WWF-SA’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF-SASSI); or
  • Sourced 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 has spent a great deal of effort over the past five years on formulating procurement strategies, training staff, improving traceability systems, addressing labeling issues, as well as assessing the sustainability of all procurement streams. All this work laid the foundation which enabled Pick n Pay to drive significant improvement in the sustainable procurement of seafood products.

At the moment, a significant proportion of the world's fisheries/aquaculture operations still do not meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability. It is not illegal to sell fish that are on the orange list, they may be sold by registered commercial fishermen and retailers. It is also important to recognize that there are significant financial and livelihood implications associated with removing certain species from shelves. For this reason, and in order to drive long term improvement in fisheries, our aim is to support fishermen while they are implementing strategies to address our sustainability concerns. Rather than simply discontinue sourcing certain seafood products, we are using our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path for these operations to become sustainable.

The majority of our seafood products already meet our sustainable seafood commitments. For the products that are not yet in compliance, we have developed strategies that involves constructive engagement with suppliers and fishermen to foster responsible environmental governance and sustainable fishing practices. These strategies have been developed in accordance with the WWF-SA Procurement Guidelines and we will report publicly on the progress of implementation.

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 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 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent not for profit organisation and is one of the world’s leading certification and labelling programmes for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC is 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.

Pick n Pay is committed to the ASC because we believe that the ASC is the gold-standard for sustainability in aquaculture. 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

Why have PnP committed to the ASC or ‘equivalent standards’?

Pick n Pay recognises that the ASC is quickly becoming 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 expanding, 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. 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.