We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that we do not purchase fish which has been caught, landed or farmed illegally. We will deal only with suppliers who operate in an open and responsible manner and are able to demonstrate compliance with all the relevant national and international regulations. We will make every effort to investigate and ensure the legality of our supply chain.
We base our fish procurement decisions on unique formal selection criteria which clearly define and apply our understanding of ‘responsible’ procurement. We acknowledge that the status of aquatic eco-systems is dynamic and often poorly understood. We are conscious of the continuing development of scientific understanding and the flux of authoritative opinion and will regularly review our selection criteria and policy positions to ensure that we make decisions based on the most current information available.
We operate a policy of transparency and aim to communicate openly in support of the consumer’s right of choice. We will supply information that enables people to make informed purchasing decisions about our products – both on pack and through our website. We will provide information about the origin of the fish used, and use relevant eco-labelling to highlight those sourced from independently-certified sustainable fisheries and responsible fish farming operations.
As a major player in the marketplace we will use our influence to actively promote the principles of responsibly sourced seafood to consumers, and to communicate the benefits of such an approach. In doing this we will also seek to make optimum use of certified sustainable species in our portfolio, bearing in mind the changing nature of such schemes and the market availability of certified sustainable species.
We understand the need for continuous environmental improvement in both wild capture fisheries and the aquaculture industry. We develop trading relationships only with suppliers who demonstrate an active awareness of the environmental impacts of their operations.
Also we actively encourage our suppliers to strive for improvement in the application of best practice and the implementation of new technologies to progressively minimise any environmental impacts of commercial fishing and fish farming.
We recognise the diverse interests of all stakeholders in the fishing and aquaculture industries. We engage openly in dialogue with all parties, including fishermen, fish farmers, governments, trade associations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and food retailers. We will strive to ensure that our policies, values and behaviour regarding responsible fish procurement are leading and shaping opinion - and to pursue a vigorous and positive agenda for change rather than being merely passive or responsive to criticism or challenge.
We have clearly defined and publicly-stated prohibitions from our business portfolio. These are products and practices which we openly condemn and will not support in any of our commercial operations.
At present these include the sale of species which appear as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN* Red List, farmed species which have been subject to genetic modification, the practice of ‘shark finning’, the use of destructive fishing methods such as dynamite and poison and the sale of species caught by fishing methods which incur unacceptable by-catch of non-target species such as turtles, dolphins and seabirds.
* International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. See http://www.iucnredlist.org/
We recognise the need for on-going scientific research into new and more effective technical methods for fishery and fish farm management and encourages environmental, ecological, animal welfare, food quality and safety improvement. We will strive to become involved with such scientific research projects and use our market position to encourage implementation in both catching and farming sectors.
We believe that traceability from ‘boat to plate’ or from ‘farm to plate’ is of paramount importance in ensuring legality, product integrity and consumer choice. We therefore endorse, support, promote and participate in new developments and technologies in this field and will strive to ensure that all our wild fish purchases are traceable back either to the catching vessel or a known group of vessels, as well as to the specific catch area (as defined by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas - ICES). We will continue to improve our traceability systems for farmed fish to ensure traceability of product to farm site and to facilitate accessible fish history data in accordance with our aquaculture policies.
We support the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base Code of Conduct and the objectives of the international standard on ethical trading, SA 8000. As a fundamental matter of principle we will not trade with companies that are not mindful of their ethical, social, environmental, financial and humanitarian responsibilities. We adopt a precautionary approach wherever we cannot adequately confirm such standards are being applied by our suppliers.
We are aware that certain fishing and fish farming practices may result in irreversible ecosystem degradation and have detrimental effects on the livelihoods, social conditions and food security of local communities. We seek to identify and understand such issues to ensure that our purchases are based upon sound ethical and environmental principles. We will also endeavour to use our influence where appropriate to help eradicate such malpractices from the wider industry.