Sainsbury’s has become the first UK supermarket to have 100% of its fresh Scottish salmon range independently certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
To earn the ASC certification, the grocer’s seafood farm was independently investigated to meet environmental and social responsibilities.
Specifically, farms are assessed against a range of strict scientific requirement including the quality of water, impact on the seabed, fish health as well as fair treatment and pay of workers on the farm.
To maintain ASC certification, farms are audited annually and must publish key performance metrics to display continued compliance.
However, less than 5% of all salmon farms in Scotland have met ASC criteria whereas Sainsbury’s has managed to earn the ASC logo for all its Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Tilapia, Basa and chilled & frozen King Prawns products.
“We know it’s our responsibility to ensure the food on our shelves is as sustainably sourced as possible, which is why we’re so pleased to become the first UK retailer to offer 100% ASC certified fresh Scottish salmon,” Sainsbury’s head of agriculture, aquaculture and horticulture Gavin Hodgeson said.
“Over the next few years we’ll continue working closely with our suppliers to ensure food is sourced sustainably from all perspectives – socially, environmentally and economically.”
However, 16% of consumers lack understanding on which products are more sustainable, building a barrier to eco-conscious diets. Thus, the grocer hopes to increase consumer confidence by ensuring 100% of seafood sold is responsibly sourced.
“We believe consumers want to make a difference with their food choices, by choosing seafood from responsible farmers. But this can only happen if retailers provide shoppers with a comprehensive choice of certified products, which is why this commitment by Sainsbury’s is so important,” ASC CEO Chris Ninnes explained.
“Scottish salmon is a world-famous product, for good reason. But it must be produced in a way that also preserves the iconic environment in which it is farmed. Sainsbury’s customers now have the chance to play their part in supporting responsible salmon farming by looking for the ASC logo.”