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Coles makes it easy to choose sustainable seafood

By: Lisa Costa Bir

Good on Coles supermarkets! As much as i'm not a big fan of the supermarkets Coles really are gaining a competitive edge in my opinion. First they were the only Aussie supermarket to introduce hormone free beef, last week they swore to take out MSG from their products and this week they've announced that they will be the first Aussie supermarket to apply a sustainable seafood message to all fresh fish in stores so that anyone that shops there has the option of sustainability when shopping for seafood.

The media report released by Coles below:

The new message regarding sustainable seafood will be introduced to fresh fish counters later this month and follows a year-long review of all Coles fresh fish by leading marine experts from WWF-Australia.

Nearly 300 assessments were carried out covering every fishery supplying fresh wild caught fish to Coles. Those found to be from well managed fisheries, caught using fishing methods that reduce environmental damage and unintentional bycatch will now be highlighted to customers as a better choice for sustainable seafood.

The 300 assessments conducted found almost 90 per cent of wild caught fresh fish sold at Coles is a sustainable choice with just 11 per cent (33 assessments) considered unsustainable based on current fishing practices. WWF, Coles and our suppliers will be working with the relevant fisheries on an action plan to try and address these serious sustainability concerns. Work is already underway with some unsustainable fisheries and other fisheries identified as having less serious sustainability issues.

Coles has already stopped selling all threatened, endangered or protected species of seafood. Trials of the 'Sustainable Seafood' message proved popular with customers with sales of fresh fish increasing by 18 per cent following its introduction in two Melbourne stores.

Coles Business Category Manager, Jon Haggett, said: "Australians are eating more seafood than ever and as we move into Lent later this month when fresh fish sales traditionally increase by as much as 85% it's even more important that we can offer customers reassurance that the seafood they buy is sustainable and will be available for future generations to enjoy.

"With WWF having now reviewed all of our fresh caught fish we can confidently tell customers which of their favourite fish are not only great quality but also caught in a more sustainable way. No other supermarket can offer this level of reassurance on fresh fish.

"We are committed to working with fisheries supplying seafood to Coles that have had sustainability problems identified to find a solution that meets the concerns identified by WWF."
While the 'Sustainable Seafood' message will initially only apply to wild caught fresh fish Coles is working with WWF and our suppliers to review farmed and frozen fish and crustaceans. WWF has already started this work, completing a review of Tassal Atlantic farmed salmon - Coles' only supplier of fresh salmon - and rated them as a better choice for sustainable seafood. Coles is also helping conserve the marine life of the iconic Great Barrier Reef by offering support to key fisheries in the region to seek Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and take action to meet MSC standards if necessary.


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