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81% of North American seafood consumers agree that fish and seafood must be protected for future generations (GlobeScan consultancy)

The MSC is celebrating 20 years of partnership with Whole Foods Market on sustainable seafood

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 17:40 (GMT + 9)

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is celebrating 20 years of partnership with Whole Foods Market on sustainable seafood. In 1999, Whole Foods Market became the first US retailer to partner with the MSC to make certified sustainable seafood available to customers around the US. MSC’s longest standing retail partner created sustainable seafood as a concept for consumers by sourcing MSC certified seafood and selling products with the MSC blue fish logo.

This weekend will mark two years since Amazon.com Inc. announced it was acquiring Whole Foods Market.  Amazon’s has expanded grocery delivery and online ordering into dozens of Whole Foods stores, cut prices on select items and offered discounts for Prime members.(Photo: Whole Food Market Canada)

One example of Whole Foods Market’s leadership on sustainable seafood is the sourcing of Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean seabass. Whole Foods Market discontinued the sale of Patagonian toothfish in 1999 due to overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated catch. In response to the problems in the toothfish fishery, the local government of South Georgia and environmental organizations worked to implement improvements in the fishery’s management system and pursued MSC certification to ensure long-term sustainability of the fishery. Ultimately, after obtaining third-party certification of the fishery and the required Chain of Custody under the MSC program, the fishery attained certification in 2004. Two years later, Whole Foods Market became the first retailer to sell MSC certified sustainable toothfish with the MSC blue fish label indicating to consumers that the fish came from a responsible, well-managed fishery. Having seen the benefits that MSC certification brought to South Georgia, including the potential to reach Whole Foods Market customers, other toothfish fisheries soon followed suit. Today, illegal fishing is at its lowest recorded in the fishery. Improved management, smarter practices and MSC certification have made Patagonian toothfish a viable option for consumers who want to enjoy seafood that’s good for them, and good for the oceans.

“Whole Foods Market’s longstanding partnership with the MSC is a testament to their dedication to sustainable seafood supplies and to its significant role in creating a marketplace for sustainable seafood,” said Brian Perkins, MSC’s Regional Director for the Americas. “We’re proud to celebrate 20 years of partnership with Whole Foods Market and are honored to have their leadership and foresight in safeguarding fish populations, and in making sure consumers have access to MSC certified sustainable seafood for this and future generations.”

Recent research by leading research consultancy GlobeScan found that 81% of North American seafood consumers agree that fish and seafood must be protected for future generations. These findings demonstrate the important role retailers play in creating a marketplace for sustainable seafood and help retailers like Whole Food Market to ensure they can meet consumers desires to shop sustainably.

During the month of June, fish counters at Whole Foods Markets around the country will be celebrating the partnership with special messaging about the 20 year anniversary.

editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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