Sustainable Seafood from SPAR

21 September 2016

SPAR 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.

Below are the sources of our private label fish and seafood and the steps we take to ensure sustainability.

Canned Tuna 

SPAR Private Label canned tuna products are bought from  a cannery which is in accordance with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Standards. These companies go through an annual review to ensure that they are meeting the ISSF conservation measures which, in the long term, aim to transition global fisheries to a point where they will be compliant with the MSC standard for sustainable wild-capture fisheries. To track these companies’ progress, SPAR requests and reviews a copy of the annual ISSF company report and works with our supplier to address any areas of non-compliance.
All tuna in SPAR Private Label canned tuna products is traceable back to the boat that caught it. SPAR, together with its supplier and source cannery / processor has ensured that all source vessels supplying tuna for its canned tuna products are registered on the ProActive Vessel Register (PVR)This enables SPAR to have line of sight of on-the-water practices of all source tuna vessels that provide raw material for the SPAR Private Label canned tuna products thus enabling SPAR to verify each batch of canned tuna that it procures.


Norwegian Salmon

Although SPAR currently procures farmed Norwegian Salmon which is on the SASSI orange-list we are implementing a procurement strategy that aligns with the SASSI procurement guideline for Salmon. Currently all Norwegian salmon procured for SPAR Private label products come from farms that are affiliated to the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI - These farms have committed to work towards meeting the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for responsible aquaculture by 2020. SPAR has full traceability back to the processor and is annually tracking their progress  towards their 2020 ASC target.


Namibian Hake 

SPAR currently procures trawled hake from Namibia. Namibian hake is currently on the WWF-SASSI Orange-list and does not meet SPAR’s commitments to sustainable seafood. SPAR therefore, in addition to proactively engaging with the Namibian Hake Association to request that they work towards implementing a Fishery Improvement Project, intends to shift our procurement strategy for SPAR Brand Hake products to South African green listed hake. SPAR believes that by staying partially engaged with the Namibian fishery beyond our seafood sustainability target date we can play a role in incentivizing improvement.  That being said, the Namibian Hake Association and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) have committed to having the hake fishery certified as sustainable by the MSC.  This process is expected to commence in March 2018 and conclude by May 2019. 


SPAR currently buys prawns caught in Argentina; and farmed prawns in India. 
The prawns caught in Argentina are procured from suppliers engaged in two formal improvement projects (one for the onshore fishery and one for the offshore fishery) with the aim of having these fisheries certified as sustainable by the MSC. Progress of the improvement project is being reported on quarterly.  The expected end date of the onshore Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is July 2018, and the offshore FIP is July 2019.  These products meet our commitments to sustainable seafood as they are considered as being under improvement.
Farmed prawns from India are on the SASSI orange-list, we are working with our suppliers to help them meet the SASSI procurement guidelines for prawns. This means that by January 2019 all prawns in SPAR Private Label products will come from farms that have met one of the following criteria:
Are certified by the ASC (see ;
Are engaged in a credible Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) as defined by WWF-SASSI at;
Or have submitted a formal written commitment to SPAR that outlines their strategy, timeline and implementation plan for achieving compliance with the ASC standard.

See also:
Sustainable Seafood Policy
Link to SASSI retailer/supplier participants