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MSC and Chinese partners including Tmall announce commitment to sustainability

Hangzhou, China — Today, on World Oceans Day, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), together with leading Chinese partners including China’s largest online marketplace, announced their commitment to sustainable seafood procurement. The MSC and Tmall signed a memorandum of understanding that Tmall will prioritise purchasing seafood from sustainable sources. Tmall also committed to a target of 20% of seafood products sold with the MSC ecolabel by 2020. Tmall, owned by Alibaba Group, has more than 375 million active buyers and can handle 25 million payments per second.

“Today, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the MSC on World Oceans Day to signify our support towards sustainable seafood development and the importance of certified fresh seafood imported to our Chinese consumers. Alibaba Group’s Tmall will be the only primary platform to release new labelled certified products, and jointly organise a promotion program,” said Ray Ho, General Manager of Tmall Fresh, Alibaba Group.

“Sustainable seafood procurement strategies and goals are common in European and North American markets, especially for retailers, and they have had a critical role in driving the transformation of the sustainable seafood industry over the last 20 years since the MSC was established,” said Nicolas Guichoux, MSC Global Commercial Director.

More than 70 representatives from retailers, suppliers, NGOs and media attended the event where Ole (part of Vanguard Group, owned by China Resources (CR) Group), Shenzhen Rainbow Grocery and the Shangri-La Hotel Chain also announced their commitment to sustainable seafood procurement and marketing in the Hangzhou Midtown Shangri-La.

“CCFA initiated the China Sustainable Retail Roundtable to develop market links with reliable certifiers to meet emerging market demand,” said Pei Liang, general secretary of CCFA. “Seafood is one area of priority and we encourage retailers to develop responsible procurement goals, recommend MSC certified seafood to the Chinese market, and provide more sustainable choices for Chinese consumers.”

“The Chinese seafood industry has a vital role in the global market, from traditional international trade for processing imported raw seafood and re-export, to transforming the domestic market and enhancing brand building. Sustainability is a crucial condition, that will be in line with a new central government initiative for green industry development and green life style. The MSC, as a global standards organisation, is enthusiastic to support sustainable development in the Chinese seafood market. More and more Chinese seafood enterprises, such as Zoneco group, Ocean Gala, BeiYangJiaMei, Oceaniese and Spring Seafoods, have joined the MSC program and try their best to provide MSC ecolabel products to the Chinese seafood market,” concluded Cui He, President of China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA)