The sustainable seafood display at a Loblaw store. (Photo: Loblaw)
Loblaw embraces sustainable seafood scheme
Friday, February 05, 2010, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
Select Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) stores across the country are now displaying signs of the firm’s goal to source 100 per cent of all seafood sold in its stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. The rule also applies to products containing seafood, such as vitamins and pet food.
Since Thursday, the stores’ customers seafood counters are carrying empty trays where fish the company has identified as "at risk" were once displayed: Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, skate and shark are some. Suggested sustainable choices include sablefish and Pacific halibut, Toronto Star reports.
A new Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification for farmed fish is in the works as well and may be finished in 2012. Standards are already in place for tilapia and pangasius.
"As Canada's largest buyer and seller of seafood, Loblaw has taken a hard look at the challenges facing the world's oceans and what it means to us," said Fresh Foods Vice-President Paul Uys at Loblaw. "We believe it's critical that Canadians understand this important issue, and the changes at our fresh seafood counters are among the first steps we have taken to educate customers as to why Loblaw is committed to sourcing all seafood sold in our stores from sustainable sources."
Loblaw is collaborating with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) plus marine scientists, conservation experts and fisheries to reach its goal.
"Research is telling us that a lot of the fish and seafood we eat are seriously depleted because of overfishing and other unsustainable fishing practices," said Dr Jeffrey Hutchings, Professor of Biology and Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation & Biodiversity at Dalhousie University, and an advisor to Loblaw. "We need to better educate ourselves so that we can make better choices when eating seafood and products that contain seafood as an ingredient."
Loblaw will also offer sustainable seafood guides in its stores to promote products certified by MSC in the February 2010 President's Choice(R) Healthy Insider's Report(R) and host a new Facebook page to share information about the firm’s seafood sustainability commitment and progress.
Available starting last Thursday, Loblaw is launching three new MSC certified President's Choice (R) Blue Menu(TM) products: President's Choice(R) Blue Menu(TM) Wild Albacore Tuna Mini Loin Portions, President's Choice(R) Blue Menu(TM) Wild Keta Salmon Cakes and President's Choice(R) Blue Menu(TM) Encrusted Wild Keta Salmon fillets in Lemon & Cracked Black Pepper and Tomato and Basil.
This brings the total number of MSC certified products available in Loblaw stores to 16. Loblaw is the largest seller of MSC-certified products in Canada.
Loblaw, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised across the country, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 139,000 full-time and part-time workers.
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By Natalia Real