Press release

Sainsbury’s makes it a hat trick at MSC UK 2016 Awards

June 7, 2016

For the third year running, Sainsbury’s has won the MSC Supermarket of the Year Award at the annual MSC awards, on World Oceans Day. This year, the retailer has also won the MSC Fish Counter of the Year award. The awards coincide with the publication of the MSC’s Global Impacts Report, highlighting the environmental improvements made by certified fisheries.

Toby Middleton, MSC Programme Director for the UK, explained: “Every year that we’ve run these awards, Sainsbury’s has come top. This year marks their hat trick and they’ve raised their game even further to take the coveted fresh fish counter award as well.

“When you buy MSC labelled fish in Sainsbury’s you’re doing more than just ease your conscience, or making a sustainable decision, you’re helping to make fishing fleets around the world more sustainable. Today’s report highlights some of the key improvements, such as the Scottish haddock fishermen who have reduced their cod bycatch by 60%, protecting stocks in the North Sea to encourage rebuilding. Those improvements take place because retailers, restaurants and their customers choose MSC certified fish. The choices we make in the supermarket can have a huge impact at sea. With the right choices, we can change the world.”

Support from a growing market

MSC certified fisheries are supported by a growing demand for sustainable seafood and for fish carrying the MSC ecolabel, and by the fast-growing number of businesses in the seafood supply chain who are certified to buy and sell MSC fish.[1]

Toby Middleton continues: “This year we’ve seen huge steps taken by the retail sector with the result that out of every six pounds spent on seafood in Britain’s supermarkets, one pound was on seafood with the MSC ecolabel. This growth is reflected in the MSC mid-size store award for Lidl UK and the MSC Newcomer of the Year Award, awarded to Tesco. Tesco’s renewed commitment to sustainable seafood is already influencing global fisheries management and they have added over 80 MSC labelled product lines over the past six months."

Building healthier fish stocks

The Global Impacts Report examines the sustainability of fish stocks in northern Europe since the MSC was created and reveals that certified fisheries are improving the health of fish populations more than uncertified stocks. In contrast, uncertified stocks in Europe show much greater variability in terms of biomass and fishing pressure, with the average fishing effort remaining too high to ensure productive fish stocks.

The awards in full:

MSC UK Supermarket of the year 2016
As the first supermarket chain in the world to reach 200 individual MSC labelled products, Sainsbury’s have maintained not only their UK leadership position, but also arguably a global leadership position for certified sustainable seafood.

Mid-size store retailer of the year
Following a huge expansion of its product range, Lidl is the clear leader in the mid-size store sector. A new, fresh seafood range of MSC labelled products joined its healthy range of frozen MSC products.

Newcomer of the year
In recent months, Tesco has invested massively in dramatically expanding its range of MSC labelled products. It has also certified over 650 of its fresh fish counters, as part of an ongoing plan to bring MSC certified seafood to homes across the country.

Fish counter of the year
Not only does Sainsbury’s have more MSC labelled products across its stores, it now has the biggest range at the fish counter too.

Frozen brand of the year
Birds Eye
Over the last year Birds Eye has built on the big MSC labelled range increase it made last year, and has consolidated its number one status in the frozen aisle for MSC certified seafood.

Canned seafood brand of the year
Fish Tales
Over the last year, Fish Tales has sold the biggest range of individually labelled MSC products. At a time when supply to this sector has been challenging, it is noteworthy that Fish Tales has offered ten MSC labelled products covering four species.

Menu of the year
Kingfisher Fish & Chips
Awarded for the menu with best choice of MSC labelled dishes.

Chef of the year
Andrei Lussmann
The chef or restaurateur who has best adopted or advocated MSC certified seafood in the UK.

Supplier of the year
Foodservice supplier with the most MSC products. Like Sainsbury’s, this is the third year running that Brakes have won the award.

University of the year
University of Durham
The university that has served the most MSC labelled seafood to its students. This is the second year running that Durham has won.

Special achievement award
Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation
This award is given to a company or group for services to the supply chain, opening up a route for a new species to enter the market. This year’s award is unusual as it is given to an organisation that is also a certified fishery for their significant efforts to open up the supply chain for MSC certified Cornish hake, allowing the fish to be sold in Waitrose stores.

Download the MSC Global Impacts Report 2016 >

  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}