United Supermarkets in a Texas first
Mar 14, 2012
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced today that United Supermarkets of Lubbock, Texas is the first Lone Star State regional grocery chain to obtain MSC’s Chain of Custody certification, allowing them to use the blue MSC ecolabel with fresh seafood that is certified as sustainable and can be traced back to the MSC certified fishery of its origin.
What United Says
"We are extremely honored as a company to be the first all Texas supermarket chain to earn MSC certification," said Scott Nettles, business director of market/seafood for United Supermarkets, LLC. "We believe this a very important step in ensuring that our store guests are receiving the highest quality, most sustainable seafood products possible."
What the MSC Says
Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director, Americas, said: "We are pleased to be starting this partnership with United Supermarkets. Their commitment allows their customers in communities throughout Texas to make choices that help protect seafood supplies for this and future generations."
United begins offering MSC certified fresh fish today at 14 stores under the Market Street and United Supermarket banners in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Amarillo, and Lubbock. Now in its 95th year, United Supermarkets is a family-owned business that operates grocery stores in 30 markets across north and west Texas.
About Chain of Custody
The MSC Chain of Custody certification is a comprehensive traceability program that traces seafood from the point of sale back to an MSC certified fishery. It ensures that MSC labeled products are sourced from a fishery that is MSC certified, and it protects buyers and the fishery from fraudulent labeling and any mixing with products from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. As a result, the sustainability of the seafood product is ensured, the MSC certified fishery of origin receives well-deserved recognition, and incentive is created for other fisheries to commit to environmentally responsible fishing practices.
For a seafood product to carry the MSC ecolabel, it must come from a certified fishery and every point in the supply chain where there is an opportunity to substitute or co-mingle with other seafood must have Chain of Custody (CoC) certification to ensure that does not occur. To obtain CoC, wholesalers and distributors must pass an independent, third-party audit that is conducted by an accredited certification body, and it must undergo annual surveillance audits to demonstrate it continues to meet the standard. The CoC standard focuses on having an internal traceability system and reliable operational systems in place to ensure that MSC certified seafood is kept separate from non-certified seafood. Worldwide, more than 1,800 companies have obtained Chain of Custody certification.