Wal-Mart Launches Sustainable Fisheries Labeling

Wal-Mart Launches Sustainable Fisheries Labeling

Fish - CC license by Wildcat Dunny/Flickr

Wal-Mart Stores says it is introducing the Marine Stewardship Council's independent blue eco-label on ten fish products in stories across the United States.

"The MSC label is an easy way for consumers to identify seafood from fisheries that meet the MSC's strict environmental standard," said Peter Redmond, vice president, Wal-Mart Seafood and Deli. "We have set a goal to procure all wild-caught seafood for North America from fisheries certified by the MSC within the next three to five years and this is the first step toward that goal. This initiative is part of Wal-Mart's continued commitment to offering sustainable products at affordable prices to our customers."

Rupert Howes, chief executive of MSC, described the launch of the first MSC-labeled products within Wal-Mart Stores as a major milestone in the company's sustainable procurement initiative. "The range and volume of MSC eco-labeled seafood products on Wal-Mart's shelves are set to increase significantly over the coming years as more suppliers meet our requirements for processing and handling sustainable seafood," said Howes. "Furthermore, Wal-Mart supply fisheries have begun to engage in the early stages of the MSC assessment process. We hope that this commitment will encourage other fisheries to join the MSC assessment process and provide a powerful new route for consumers to support sustainable fishing."

In February 2006, Wal-Mart pledged to source all of its wild-caught fresh and frozen fish for the North American market from fisheries that meet the MSC's independent environmental standard. The first products to hit Wal-Mart's shelves came from Beaver Street Fisheries and AquaCuisine in April.

"We are proud to be involved on the forefront of this bold industry leading step by Wal-Mart as we have consistently scoured the globe for sustainable wild-caught and environmentally friendly aquaculture resources," said Carlos Sanchez, director of Product Development at Beaver Street Fisheries.

Mark Goforth, President of AquaCuisine, has also confirmed the development of additional MSC-certified products for Wal-Mart: "We commend the initiative and foresight of Wal-Mart to expand consumer and industry awareness of MSC- certified fisheries. AquaCuisine is proud to be developing additional delicious world-class, environmentally sound products. We feel this initiative is a natural step to further demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable seafood movement and promote MSC certification around the globe."