In a move to increase transparency in seafood supply chains, UK supermarket Asda has become the first retailer to publish sourcing details for its farmed seafood, as part of an update to the company’s annual Ocean Disclosure Project profile. The update marks the first time that an ODP participant has publicly disclosed information on both wild and farmed species.
Previously, the profile described all own-brand, wild caught seafood retailed by the business along with data relating to management, fishing techniques and environmental impact. It now also contains information on the origin of farmed fish and shellfish including whether the source is certified to a recognized standard and provides environmental information on marine inputs for feed, impacts on wild species, and water quality.
Asda was the first retailer to publish details of the origin of its own brand wild caught seafood through the ODP in 2015 and earlier this year became the first to publish specific vessel information for boats that catch plaice, haddock and cod.
Asda sources 12 different species of farmed fish and shellfish including Atlantic salmon, European seabass, and pangasius. In 2018, 90% of Asda’s wild-caught and farmed seafood came from sources certified as sustainable or responsibly farmed and a further 3% came from fisheries in Fisheries Improvement Projects.
Chris Brown, Senior Director for Sustainable Business at Asda, said:
“Increasing the transparency of seafood supply chains is an area where we’ve consistently led the industry, from being the first to disclose wild-caught seafood sources, to being the first to report down to individual vessels bringing in the catch. The inclusion of farmed seafood in our ODP profile marks another step forward in providing our customers with clear and open information, so they can trust in what they buy from Asda. We hope that other retailers and brands will follow suit.”
Tania Woodcock, Project Manager for the Ocean Disclosure Project, said:
“We are pleased to now be able to share information on farmed seafood through the Ocean Disclosure Project and are delighted that Asda has chosen to become the first participant to publish its farmed sourcing data. They continue to lead the way in best practices. This is an important step for seafood transparency and for the Ocean Disclosure Project and we hope to start publishing farmed sourcing data for other companies in the future.”
The ODP was started by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership in 2015 to provide a valuable information resource for responsible investors, seafood consumers, and others interested in sustainable seafood. To date, 20 companies, including retailers, suppliers, and aquaculture feed manufacturers from Europe and North America, have participated. Other ODP participants include UK retailers Co-op Food, Lidl UK, Morrisons, and Tesco, and North American retailers Publix Supermarkets, Walmart US, Giant Eagle, Meijer, and Walmart Canada.
Asda’s full profile can be viewed at: https://oceandisclosureproject.org/companies/asda