Sustainable Seafood Policy

01 September 2015

The SPAR Group Ltd Sustainable Seafood Policy for SPAR Private Label Seafood Products

As a responsible Wholesaler, The SPAR Group Ltd acknowledges that:
  1. There is global concern over the over-exploitation of seafood resources and the environmental impacts of fishing and aquaculture activities on marine ecosystems;
  2. Retailers and Wholesalers are major role players in the seafood industry and can help drive positive change in fisheries by supporting sustainable seafood choices from legal and responsibly managed sources and creating market driven incentives to catalyse change at sea;
SPAR therefore understands that if we are to ensure the survival of our marine ecosystems and continue to enjoy seafood, we need to ensure that our SPAR private label seafood is responsibly procured and supports sustainable and well-managed fisheries and aquaculture operations.

SPAR defines sustainable seafood as: Seafood which originates from a fishery or farm which could continue to operate indefinitely without reducing the target species’, or any other species in the marine ecosystems, ability to maintain a viable population.  A sustainable species should:
  • Not be a species that is regarded as endangered or threatened
  • Be caught in a well-managed fishery
  • Be caught using responsible fishing methods
  • Be traceable from “boat to plate”
As such SPAR commits to transforming all SPAR private label seafood products to ensure that by 2016 all SPAR private label seafood products will be:
  • Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-caught products or;
  • Certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or equivalent standards for farmed products or;
Where there are no products available which meet these criteria, at a minimum all SPAR private label seafood products will be:
  • Categorized as Green by the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI); or
  • Sourced from a fishery or farm which is engaged in a credible time-bound improvement project to improve the fishery/farm to MSC or ASC standards or SASSI Green list status.
As a responsible Wholesaler, SPAR also believes in the following principles:
  • In order to be able to make environmentally responsible choices, consumers and clients have the right to sufficient and accurate information about any SPAR private label seafood product on sale.  All SPAR private label seafood should be adequately labeled and provide information on the species, origin, and production method (fishing gear used, or wild-caught/farmed), or any credible eco-labels that may apply;
  • All SPAR  private label seafood should be traceable to its origins, making use of suitable traceability schemes or mechanisms;      
  • All SPAR private label seafood on offer should be legal (no Illegal, Unregulated or Unreported products);
  • SPAR private label seafood product ranges should be subject to continuous improvement, and any new seafood products should be considered against strict legal, traceability, and sustainability criteria;
  • Sustainable choices should be promoted and retailers and staff should be adequately trained where possible to assist customers in making sustainable choices;
  • Retailers and suppliers should communicate their sustainability commitments to the public and be held accountable to them.
Although SPAR cannot dictate procurement policies for all its Retailers, SPAR Group is committed to implementing positive changes to the seafood procurement in all SPAR Retailers through information and education.

See also
Where We Source Our Seafood

Link to SASSI retailer/supplier participants

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