Nation’s Favourite Fish Finger Nets Sustainability Certification
Mar 29, 2012
MSC partner release
Birds Eye, the UK’s leading frozen food brand, has today announced that across Europe, its entire Cod and Haddock Fish Finger range has achieved MSC certification. The move will switch 5,200 tonnes of fish products to sustainably certified produce in the UK market and increase the total weight of MSC labelled products sold by 20 percent .
The UK consumes over 185 million Birds Eye Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers each year. Today’s news means that 62 million British mealtimes will now be made from certified, sustainably sourced produce.
The move comes at the beginning of the 15th year of the MSC which was co-founded by the Birds Eye brand, WWF and international conservation leaders, to create an independent certification and ecolabel programme for sustainable and well-managed fish. The MSC certification means the fishery has demonstrated that it is well managed and sustainable through a comprehensive, independent scientific assessment.
100% certified target
The switch to more MSC certified supply forms part of Iglo Group’s company-wide sustainability plan, Forever Food, which aims to certify 100% of its fish range to help protect global fish stocks.
Iglo Group, which owns Birds Eye, operates across eleven European markets and sells MSC certified fish in more countries than any other food brand. Birds Eye sells Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers to 3.4 million homes each year.
Martin Glenn, CEO of Iglo Group - Birds Eye’s parent company - said: “As Europe’s leading frozen fish manufacturer, we have an important role to play in working to ensure the long-term security of our oceans, but also in making it easier for consumers to eat in a more sustainable way.
Protecting and rejuvenating stocks
The UK is the world’s second largest consumer of cod, a fish whose stocks were previously under serious threat. As part of our Forever Food programme, we have worked hard to protect and rejuvenate this species and I am proud to announce that both our Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers have been certified by MSC as sustainable.”
Birds Eye helped rejuvenate depleting cod stocks in 2007 with the introduction of the Alaska Pollock Omega 3 Fish Finger - a move which encouraged 78 percent of consumers to switch from cod to Alaska Pollock, resulting in a 3,000 tonne reduction in its yearly cod catch.
The business has actively campaigned for reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, in particular, driving support for an end to the wasteful practice of discards and calling for a revised fisheries management framework such as regionalisation which would help fisheries manage resources better.
Birds Eye’s entire fish portfolio – from cod to salmon - is now in the MSC programme – either in assessment or already certified.
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive, MSC said: “The growth in engagement and support for the MSC programme over the past 15 years has been amazing. We are starting to see clear evidence that commitment to certification is fostering real and lasting change in the way the oceans are fished and we could not achieve that without the support and leadership of companies like Birds Eye.
By putting MSC certification at the heart of their procurement, and by adding the MSC ecolabel to their iconic fish fingers, Birds Eye have made a clear statement of intent that will help to pull new fisheries into the MSC programme. Some of those fisheries may have to make changes to the way they fish in order to achieve the standard. This is a phenomenal commitment that will make a significant difference in the UK market.
From September 2012, shoppers across the UK will be able to find the MSC ecolabel on packs of Birds Eye fish fingers. By making a positive decision to choose MSC certified sustainable fish, together, we can really change the way the oceans are fished by the choices we make.”
All Birds Eye Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers will carry the MSC ecolabel from September.
About Birds Eye
Birds Eye is owned by parent company Iglo Group, Europe’s market leading frozen foods business both in terms of sales and brand recognition.
The Birds Eye brand accounts for a third of the group’s sales and is one of the UK’s leading food brands and a founder of the frozen food industry. The company has a strong history in Britain, having launched in 1938, and produces iconic products such as fish fingers and peas. Birds Eye operates from its head office in Bedfont, England.
For more information visit: www.birdseye.co.uk or www.iglo.com or www.foreverfood.co.uk
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