Dansk Supermarked, a leading retailer in Denmark. (Photo: FIS stock file)
Danish retailer seeks PNA's sustainable tuna for its stores
Wednesday, November 07, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
Leading Danish retailer Dansk Supermarked is the latest European seller showing its support to the Parties to the Nauru Agreement’s (PNA) Marine Stewardship Council- (MSC) certified skipjack tuna, which is cobranded as “Pacifical.”
With an annual turnover of more than USD 11 billion, Dansk Supermarked joins companies like Netherlands-based frozen and fresh fish distributor Anova Seafood and Spar Austria, a major supermarket chain in Austria, who in recent weeks have called on fishing companies and processors in the PNA region to sustainably catch and produce their skipjack tuna.
Although last December the PNA free school purse seine skipjack fishery received MSC certification, so far no certified tuna product has reached the market because boat owners and canneries in the PNA are not cooperating, and the fishery is consequently still waiting for its Chain of Custody (COC) certification. COC ensures that the MSC-certified tuna is caught without fish aggregation devices (FADs) and is kept separate from non-certified catch throughout the supply chain.
Dansk Supermarked, which wishes to sell only MSC-certified fish products in its stores, finds the lack of the Pacifical tuna supply disappointing.
“I was hoping now that everything would be in place and that we could get started because I know that we can sell a lot of MSC tuna products. We will put them on our shelves when it’s available, but we just need to have a supply,” said Søren Lund Thomsen, Dansk’s category purchasing manager. “It’s disappointing that we’re still waiting for things to get ready.”
"Pacifical tuna meets the retailer’s sustainability commitments 100 per cent," assured Thomsen.
“What is important for us is that somebody neutral comes in and gives it the stamp of approval that it is sustainable. It’s easy for me as a buyer to say that what I’m buying is sustainable, but it’s better if somebody who is not involved comes in and said it, like MSC,” he continued.
Dansk and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said they consider the MSC standard the most credible and sustainable level that fisheries can achieve out of all eco labels.
Thomsen said that while the MSC brand is growing slowly among consumers in Denmark, it has the potential to become widely popular.
“It won’t be well known until we have more MSC certified products on our shelves, so until that happens, the consumers won’t know that it’s out there,” he stated.
“The aim for Dansk is to have all our fish – canned or frozen or fresh – sustainable. And number one, when we talk about sustainability is MSC. We’re not there yet, but that is what we’re working on and MSC is the obvious solution for us,” added Thomsen.
- Retailer asks PNA to source MSC-certified skipjack tuna
By Natalia Real