McDonald's, Sodexo Clinch Deals on Sustainable Seafood

Come this fall, just the eco-label, apparently.

"We're letting the consumers in Europe, who very much care about this, that the fisheries our suppliers buy from are 100 percent MSC certified," said McComb. "In the U.S., the same reality exists, but at this time we are not actually going so far as to put the label on the packaging." However, should market sensitivities in the U.S. change, the practice may be revisited, she said. Bottom line, she added, "to us, what's most important is the sustainability of the fish."

Why October for the eco-label rollout? Among other things, that's when the company estimates that it will have gone through its current packaging supplies for Filet-o-Fish products in Europe. "Throwing them out would be irresponsible," McComb said.

The company's stance on sustainable fish is part of a broader campaign on food sourcing and supply chain responsibility. In March, McDonald's detailed plans to move to more sustainable meat, coffee and packaging in its Sustainable Land Management Commitment.

Like McDonald's, Sodexo also is trying to integrate sustainability through its global operations.

In February, Sodexo announced a commitment to use only sustainably certified seafood by 2015. The company said that means 100 percent of the fresh and frozen it gets from contracted vendors will have to meet Marine Stewardship Council or Best Aquaculture Practices standards.

The agreement with MSC is the latest expansion of Sodexo's sustainable seafood strategy. The pledge pertains to wild caught fish and, the company said, is aimed at:

  • Promoting MSC-certified seafood in the 80 countries where the firm does business.
  • Maximizing client and consumer awareness and collaboration regarding the issue of sustainable seafood.

The commitment is an industry first, Sodexo and MSC said.

Images courtesy of McDonald's.