Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited and Canada's largest food retailer, has become the first retail member of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO). Loblaw said its commitment to responsibly farmed seafood is underscored by this move that will require all supplying farms to use only IFFO Responsible Supply standard fish meal and fish oil in their feeds.
Formed in 1959, the IFFO is the international non-profit organization which represents fishmeal and fish oil producers and related trades throughout the world. One of the key objectives of IFFO certification is a commitment to responsible fishery management, quality control and assurance, including the traceability of fishmeal and fish oil from the producer to the user. The commitment also includes transportation and storage to ensure safety and to avoid endangered and illegal unreported species.
"Responsible fish farming needs responsible feed," said Andrew Mallison, Director General, IFFO. "By supporting the IFFO Responsible Supply standard, Loblaw is giving their customers the assurance that the fishmeal and fish oil used as feed ingredients are from well managed fisheries and is produced in safe and well managed factories. We are also delighted to welcome them as our first retail member."
Members of the IFFO share a commitment to setting a standard for the aquaculture value chain through the promotion of high-quality, certified fish meal and fish oil into the diets of both aquatic and land animals. Loblaw joins producers and trade associations from around the world representing nearly two-thirds of the world's production of fish meal and fish oil.
"By becoming members of the IFFO, Loblaw has made strides in moving closer to our goal of sourcing 100 per cent of the seafood sold in our stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013," says Paul Uys, vice-president, sustainable seafood, Loblaw Companies Limited. "As Canada's largest food retailer, Loblaw will play a key leadership role in bringing these responsibly farmed seafood practices to the wider marketplace."
"WWF recognizes the importance of engaging with multiple stakeholders to develop environmental and social standards and voluntary certification schemes for a range of commodities," says Dr. Robert Rangeley, vice-president, WWF-Canada, Atlantic Region. "We see Loblaw's membership in IFFO as an example of this and another important step in their commitment to responsible sourcing and traceability of seafood in Canada."
As one of its 2012 Sustainable Seafood Commitments, Loblaw has committed to begin the conversion to 100 per cent of fishmeal and fish oil used in feed to be certified against the IFFO Responsible Supply standard for all control brand responsibly farmed seafood programs. This commitment extends into Loblaw control brand products where there are feeding regimes, such as the PC® Free From products.