Thursday, February 22, 2024

Coles among winners of Sustainable Seafood Awards

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) have announced the winners of the sixth Sustainable Seafood Awards Australia.

Coinciding with Sustainable Seafood Week (21-27 March), the awards celebrate the organisations and individuals working together to ensure seafood stocks are safeguarded for future generations.

Among the awards’ winners was Coles, recognised as the Best Sustainable Seafood Supermarket for supporting the MSC mission and carrying 30 products with the official ‘blue fish tick’ logo. This is a title the retailer has retained since 2017.

MSC Oceania Program Director Anne Gabriel says the awards program is delighted to recognise the hard work and dedication of all those involved at Coles who share MSC’s vision of ensuring wild-caught seafood supplies for future generations.

“With the impacts of climate change on our ocean growing,” she says, “sustainable fishing practices are more important than ever.”

Commenting on the win, Coles Chief Executive Commercial and Express Greg Davis says he is proud to see Coles recognised for responsible sourcing, helping to ensure Australian customers could eat seafood for generations to come.

“100% of Coles Own Brand seafood is responsibly sourced,” he says. “This means the farms and fisheries we work with are all independently certified or assessed to help reduce potential environmental risks, including impacts on surrounding ecosystems, illegal and unregulated fishing, and overfishing.”

Mr Davis adds: “Coles Own Brand MSC-certified seafood is the third most popular brand sold in Australia and Coles’ MSC-certified fresh fish counters rank in the top-three globally, according to MSC volume data (2020/2021).”

Other winners

The Best Sustainable Seafood Product Award was awarded to Bidfood’s new Nordic Select Salmon range.

In the wild catch category, the Best Sustainable Seafood Product Award was received by ALDI Australia for its Ocean Rise Skinless and Boneless Pink Salmon 130g alongside Mars Petcare Australia for its DINE Fresh & Fine Adult Wet Cat Food in Jelly Tuna & Salmon. Austral Fisheries received a Highly Commended Award for its Karumba Banana Prawns 500g, available exclusively at Woolworths.

Other notable wins included Tassal, who was awarded the ASC Above and Beyond Award for its ‘responsible business roadmap’ focusing on reducing plastic waste.

Tassal Wildlife Management Officer Maddison Little was named Best Young Person in Aquaculture for her work in leading the ‘Stop it at the Source’ marine debris campaign, supporting the brand’s ‘responsible business roadmap’.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Guy Leyland. Mr Leyland joined the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) in 1986 as their first professional employee. He worked for WAFIC until his retirement earlier this year, and since 2012 led the WA MSC project, supporting Western Australian fisheries engaged in the MSC program.

Ms Gabriel says with the impacts of climate change growing, sustainable practices are more important than ever.

“The people and organisations receiving these awards have all demonstrated their dedication to constantly improving environmental and social outcomes through fishing, helping to ensure a healthy blue food supply for years to come,” she says.

“However, there is much work that remains to be done. We need every industry that shares seafood with its customers to step up and choose sustainably – this means foodservice, airlines, cruises and pet food.”

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