EROSKI Increases Procurement of Certified Sustainable Fish by 24% and Passes the one Million Kilo Mark

EROSKI is the first chain of retail distributors in Spain to pass the audits for both the MSC and the GLOBALG.A.P. certifications for   the sale of sustainable fresh fish.

•    With its Sustainable Fishing Policy, the cooperative supports the development of fisheries which respect the marine ecosystem.
•    Its Health and Sustainability Commitments announced last April are aimed at promoting more sustainable activity.
•    A commitment to sustainable eating

EROSKI is making progress in its commitment to a more sustainable nutrition model, having increased its procurement of sustainable fish with the MSC and GLOBALG.A.P. certifications by 24%. The chain markets this seafood under its own fresh food brand, EROSKI Natur, and managed to break through the one million kilo barrier in the first half of this fiscal year.

With this step, it is further consolidating its position as a leading supplier of fresh food and purveyor of more responsible foodstuffs as a basis for healthy and sustainable eating, a basic pillar of its “contigo” (with you) business model. The cooperative is a pioneer in Spain with its commitment to GGN (GLOBALG.A.P.) and the MSC ecolabel for the sale of fresh fish, a commitment which demonstrates fundamental support for the fishing industry investing in this sustainability.

“We are devoting more space on our fish counters to catches with certified sustainability. In doing so, we are offering consumers additional guarantees that the fresh fish with the ecolabel that they find in our stores comes from sustainable fishing grounds and production facilities. At EROSKI, we monitor all the processes, from the source of the products right up to their processing in our stores, to ensure they are as responsible as possible. Our Health and Sustainability Commitments, which we renewed this year, aim to promote and encourage more sustainable eating,” said Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa, Director of Health and Sustainability at EROSKI.

Pioneering in the Sustainability Certification of its Fish Counters

Just over a year ago, EROSKI became the first and only chain of retail distributors in Spain to pass the audit by the international organizationMarine Stewardship Council (MSC) for the certification of the chain of custody for fresh fish originating from sustainable fishing grounds. The EROSKI fish counters have achieved the certification in stages, and there are currently 348 offering fresh fish, in addition to the EROSKI Group’s six logistics centers supplying the fresh fish to its network of stores.

During the first six months of this fiscal year, corresponding to the second stage since obtaining the certification, the cooperative has procured more than 900 metric tons of sustainable seafood with the MSC blue seal including species such as Skrei cod, anchovies, albacore, lobster, desalinated cod, and surimi. The MSC accreditation audits both the fishing grounds and the companies involved in the whole process of handling the fish in such a way that it guarantees the traceability and good practices all along the chain of custody for products bearing the MSC blue seal. The factors that MSC takes into consideration before awarding its sustainable seafood certification to a fishery are the situation of the fish population, the impact of the fishing method on the habitat, and the management of the fishing grounds.

“EROSKI is taking decisive and important steps forward with the progressive certification of its fish counters and the incorporation of new species in order to offer an ever more varied range of fresh fish bearing the MSC blue seal. Its commitment to the health of the oceans and local produce is evident, as we can see from the support shown for the albacore and anchovies sourced from the certified Basque fleet and the incorporation of an ever wider range of product categories with our seal. We would like to congratulate EROSKI on its great efforts to boost sustainable fishing and raise consumer awareness in Spain. EROSKI is without a doubt a responsible cooperative committed to the future of marine resources,” affirmed Laura Rodríguez, Country Manager Spain & Portugal at MSC.

Furthermore, less than three months ago, EROSKI became the first chain of distributors in Spain to pass the GLOBALG.A.P. certified aquaculture chain of custody audit. This guarantees that the aquaculture fish on sale at its fish counters have been farmed in a safe and sustainable way. Since then, EROSKI has procured 60,000 kilos of gilt-head bream, meagre, European bass, turbot, and salmon with the GGN label (GLOBALG.A.P. Number).

“The number of consumers looking for reliable information when buying fish and seafood is increasing every day. Questions concerning the origin of the products and the production methods employed as well as the social and environmental conditions play an ever more important role in securing their trust and determining their purchasing decisions. With its GLOBALG.A.P. certification, EROSKI, as a pioneer in the Spanish distribution market, is responding to the increasing demand on the part of the consumers for guarantees that the foodstuffs are safe and sustainable,” said Flavio Alzueta, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at GLOBALG.A.P.

The criteria for the GLOBALG.A.P. certification include an analysis of the environmental impact, regular food safety and water quality checks, and verification of the traceability and the welfare of the animals. Among other things, the sustainability label also certifies adequate feed consumption, leading to better care of the seabed and improved use of the fishing resources, measures to prevent escape and thus limit the spread of invasive species, the guaranteeing of proper working conditions, and the introduction of quality management systems.