The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) celebrated ASC certified salmon hitting the market with a panel discussion featuring certified salmon producers and leading supply chain partners. Manfred Klinkhardt of FischMagazin moderated the session with representatives of REWE Group, Leroy Seafood Group, Lerøy Midt and ASC.
The panel discussed the value that ASC certified salmon brings to supply chain partners and their businesses as well as the salmon industry's commitment to improve its environmental footprint.
ASC’s CEO, Chris Ninnes, also provided an overview of the year’s achievements, while Esther Luiten, ASC’s European Manager Commercial Marketing, discussed the unique values of ASC’s programme and its presence in the German market.
Increasing support for ASC programme
Esther explained how the ASC logo has generated strong interest with an increasing number of retailers stocking ASC certified products. “Major retailers and brands are signing up to the ASC programme and showing their customers that they care about the future supply of seafood and providing them with an informed choice for responsibly sourced fish products.
“This past year has seen the ASC go from strength to strength with certified tilapia and pangasius products. The ASC now has almost 850 approved products available globally. With the addition of certified salmon products to the programme the outlook for 2014 is promising,” said Esther.
In the German market there are over 120 products available, including in retailers such as Edeka, Real, Kaufland and Cash and Carry Metro. Companies such as Costa, Frosta and Lenk – supplying own brand retail products – and the home delivery company bofrost*, are very supportive of ASC in the German market.
Dr Tjark Goerges, Referent Sustainability, REWE Group said: “At the REWE Group, we have the ambition to bring and keep our entire seafood range, including salmon, to a higher level of sustainability. The ASC programme matches our needs for our conventional aquaculture product range and aligns with other standards. Products carrying the ASC logo build trust between us and our customers because they come from independently verified and controlled sources.”
The commitment of Dutch retail to source 100 per cent ASC certified farmed seafood by 2016 places it at the top of the list in terms of products on the market so far. Retailers including Albert Heijn, Lidl and Jumbo offer customers a range of ASC labelled products, with over 200 available. In Switzerland supermarket chains including Migros and Coop are supplying ASC labelled seafood. In the United Kingdom, 40 products are available including in one of the largest chains, Sainsbury’s.
Displaying the ASC logo assures consumers that their ASC labelled seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm.
In order to achieve chain of custody certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements and have in place traceability systems that ensure no product mixing or substitutions can occur. Now, over 45 German companies are chain-of-custody certified. In total, 277 companies globally can process and sell ASC certified and labelled products.
The ASC is exhibiting at this year’s Fish International at Messe Bremen until 11 February in Hall 5, stand E58.