Certified or not certified? The need for more transparency.
28 of the companies in the benchmark reported that they work with certification programmes. Supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture operations, or to ensure that products come from well-managed sources. Most companies in the benchmark refer to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for wild-capture fisheries, and for aquaculture the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS) was often mentioned for the production of fish meal and fish oil used in aquaculture feed production. Furthermore, 53% of the companies in the benchmark demonstrated their efforts in working towards more sustainable fisheries by participating in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP), which can lead to MSC certification.
Despite using certification programmes to improve their performance, only a few companies publicly disclosed the proportion of the total production volume this represents. Some of the companies that produce aquaculture feed in the benchmark, such as BioMar Group and Mowi are leading in this area and are transparent about the amount of feed ingredients that come from certified sources. High Liner Foods, Nomad Foods and Royal Greenland are good examples of processing companies that are also transparent about the share of certified seafood that is part of their total portfolio. Several companies refer to certified fisheries, farms or FIPs for part of their portfolio, but are not fully transparent about the level of sustainability throughout the entirety of their portfolios and global operations. This is a major gap for the industry. It is extremely difficult to measure how the industry is progressing without more company data on total certified volumes – companies need to disclose more. Also, the tangible steps they are taking to shift the dial and move towards a fully sustainable product portfolio.