As a business that’s been supplying seafood for over 200 years we understand more than most the dependence that the seafood industry has on a healthy and productive marine environment. Because of this we work hard to ensure that all of our seafood is sourced only from responsible fisheries and aquaculture as part of our fish for life program.
In fact, doing the right thing is part of our core business philosophy and is a big part of why we’re still going strong to this day.
At Young’s we ensure that every seafood purchasing decision is made with a clear understanding of the farm or the fishery that is producing that fish. We’ll visit the vessels and the farms, speak to the skippers and the farmers and sometimes even go to sea to ensure we have full first-hand knowledge of what’s involved in the production of our fish, all the way up the supply chain.
Alongside this “on farm” and “at sea” work, we conduct detailed sustainability assessments for every source where we check the most up to date credible science on the production method and ensure that the management is responsible, environmental impact is acceptable and that all of the relevant laws are adhered to.
We understand that harvesting fish from the marine environment will always have an impact, as with any method of food production. Young’s always ensures that we buy seafood from responsible producers and fishers with an acceptable level of impact.
We also understand that impact varies with the species of fish produced or caught, the ecosystem, fished or farmed and the gear used. Thus every combination of this is risk assessed in house by our Marine Biologist and Aquaculture expert using a bespoke decision tree process populated by the most up to date peer reviewed science.
Fisheries or farms with credible and independent certification such as the Marine Stewardship Council or the Global Aquaculture Alliance are automatically progressed as low risk as these fisheries and farms have already been assessed with the highest scientific rigour and principles.
Sources which are not independently certified will be subjected to a full in house assessment which will take into account where appropriate:
- The legal framework the producers operate under
- The impact on the target fish
- The impact of the gear on the wider ecosystem (habitat and species)
- Welfare aspects
- The management structure and its efficacy
- Continuous Improvement
Sources rated as low risk for the above criteria automatically qualify for our purchasing team to buy from. Sources rated as Medium risk or in extreme cases High risk will only ever be sourced from if we believe that we can improve the sustainability of the operation. In this case sourcing will only progress with firm commitments that are time bound, and which result in effective improvement – if such actions are not progressed or not effective Young’s will stop sourcing the product.
This is in line with the Sustainable Seafood Coalition Code which Young’s subscribe to.
As sustainability practitioners we will also work with government, NGOs and many academic institutions to further progress in this field to reduce risk and develop novel and exciting methods to meet responsible production challenges.
We believe that sourcing only responsibly caught or farmed seafood is not only the right thing to do, but it is the only way to ensure a healthy environment and a healthy business.
The Fish for Life approach is founded on Ten Principles for Responsible Fish Procurement – the rules which govern our sourcing decisions. We will continuously strive to ensure that our Fish for Life and our Ten Principles are effectively employed in our business plan and that we have measures and indicators in place to qualify our aims and to promote these values throughout our entire supply chain, from boat to plate.