In 2019, Co-op joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) to help the reduction of abandoned and discarded fishing gear, a threat to marine life and livelihoods all over the globe. We have also co-funded a PhD research project at Heriot-Watt University to investigate the effects of discarded fishing gear.
Responsibly sourced fish
At Co-op, protecting oceans, fish stocks and livelihoods is key to ensuring our members can enjoy seafood knowing it has been responsibly sourced. Our Healthy Oceans Strategy works to ensure we have fish for the future and thriving marine ecosystems.
All Co-op seafood must meet our standards for sourcing fish responsibly. Our seafood standards have been in place since 2008 to ensure all seafood is sourced from well-managed farms and fisheries, minimising our impact on the marine environment.
As part of our Future of Food ambition, we are committed to protect our key ingredients and care for the environments they’re sourced from.
Fish you can trust
As a minimum, Co-op support credible certification where it drives change and work with key partners to take a restorative approach to ecosystems.
All farmed Co-op fish is certified to at least one of three independent schemes: Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Global Good Agriculture Practices and Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices (4*). All Co-op irresistible Scottish Salmon is RSPCA assured meaning it has to conform to higher welfare standards.
In 2019, over 75% of Co-op wild-caught seafood products were Marine Stewardship Council certified. As well as meeting our commitment to improve seafood sustainability, this also makes us one of the top retailers in the UK selling sustainable fish. All Co-op tuna is sourced from Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) using the pole & line method. We support FIPs as a key step towards sustainability and certification within a defined 5 year timeframe. We are innovating with the industry by supporting a number of UK FIPs though Project UK.
Engaging with our suppliers
We are engaging with our farmed fish suppliers and the feed industry to ensure continuous improvement towards sustainable feed ingredients in our supply chains. This includes actively encouraging the use of sustainable novel ingredients. By risk assessing the feed ingredient we are able to holistically evaluate existing and novel feed ingredients. Our preferred standards for marine ingredients are MSC and Marin Trust (formerly IFFO RS). Co-op are also actively working on other key feed ingredients such as Soy and Palm Oil.
Co-op seafood is sourced globally, these range from Atlantic Salmon from Scotland, Seabass from Turkey and Prawns from Canada.
You can find out where the fish on your plate comes from on the Oceans Disclosure Project website! For the first time, this profile covers all the farmed and wild-caught seafood sourced by the Co-op in 2019.
Co-operating with the Seafood Industry
Working together with the seafood industry is key to addressing the major global challenges faced by our supply chains and marine ecosystems.
All sourcing and labelling of our Co-op seafood products have met the Sustainable Seafood Coalition codes of conduct since we joined as a founding member in 2011. The coalition brings together major British businesses to make real changes in the seafood industry. We are also working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to source the most sustainable seafood options and find solutions to challenges in the marine environment.
Co-op fully support collaborative initiatives to drive sustainability improvements in the seafood industry. We are members of the Global Tuna Alliance to help advocate for better management of tuna fisheries worldwide. We have also adopted the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability standards to help improve the traceability of our seafood supply chains.
By launching our Scottish Salmon Farming Group in 2017, we can work closely with the suppliers of our Irresistible Salmon. We have since built strategic, long-term relationships with our Scottish suppliers whilst also focusing on best practice and performance, in support of our new Salmon farming standard.
“Being part of the Co-op farming group is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more about our Salmon’s total supply chain. Sharing knowledge and views on hot topics and challenges allows us to be fully confident in delivering a truly responsibly farmed product.
The collaborative team enables us to align objectives and workstreams, ensuring we meet customer requirements across fish health, good husbandry and quality, whilst promoting the solid background of excellent provenance. We are proud to be part of a wider team that shares our passion for delivery of premium Scottish Salmon to be enjoyed by Coop’s customers.”
Grieg, Co-op salmon supplier