The MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certificate indicating fish products’ sustainability granted to Kespro

Kespro was granted the MSC Chain of Custody – the traceability certificate – at the end of April. All phases of Kespro’s fish and shellfish supply chain have been audited, and Kespro and its certified customer restaurants can use MSC and ASC ecolabelling in their marketing. This benefits Kespro’s certified customer restaurants, as it will be easier for people eating there to choose sustainably caught fish on their plates.

Kespro, part of the K-Group, is a leading wholesaler in the hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector which wants to stand out as a responsible operator and provide its customers with sustainable fish and shellfish products.

In line with the K-Group’s fish and shellfish statement Kespro favours sustainable fish stocks and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified suppliers when making decisions on its selections.

MSC and ASC certification programmes are considered as the most reliable instruments in the world when assessing the sustainability of the fish and shellfish production. For several leading distributors and brands in the world, the MSC and ASC programmes are in a key position when corporate responsibility is encouraged.

The MSC ecolabel on a fish or shellfish product indicates that it originates from a sustainable fish stock and a sustainable fishery. The ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) logo indicates that strict environmental and social responsibility criteria have been observed in fish farming.

The origins of the MSC and ASC products in Kespro’s selection can be traced all the way back to the sustainably operating fishery.

Certification ensures traceability

Kespro is the first Finnish HoReCa wholesaler to have received the MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certificate.

Restaurants, catering services and fish counters can sell and market MSC/ASC products as ecolabelled if they have a valid MSC Chain of Custody Standard’s certificate and licence agreement. In addition, the entire supply chain of the companies must be certified in line with Chain of Custody Standard.

Certification ensures that the sustainable origin of MSC/ASC labelled fish and shellfish products is traceable and no non-certified products are mixed with certified ones.

Instead, the retail stores selling sealed, MSC/ASC ecolabelled products in consumer packages only need a licence agreement for marketing; no Chain of Custody certificate is needed.

Kespro has nearly 250 certified fish products in its selection

In order to gain the MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certificate, Kespro had to refine its practices, provide instructions and train employees.

When MSC/ASC products are included in selection, it must be ensured that the supplier has a valid Chain of Custody certificate covering the products to be purchased. The proper handling practices ensure that no non-certified products are sold as MSC/ASC labelled.

A Chain of Custody Audit was conducted at Kesko in March-April. The multi-day and comprehensive audit proved that everything was in order at Kespro. The MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certificate was granted to Kespro at the end of April.

The certificate covers the MSC and ASC products sold by Kespro and Kesko Food. Currently Kespro has nearly 250 such products in its selection and the number is constantly increasing.

Kespro’s customers can stand out as responsible operators

The Chain of Custody certificate granted to Kespro also benefits Kespro’s customers. For a certified customer to be able to market its products as MSC and ASC labelled, the entire supply chain must be certified.

“Kespro has around 25,000 customers, such as restaurants, hotels and public kitchens. When the entire supply chain has been certified, our certified customer restaurants can use MSC and ASC ecolabelling on their menus and marketing. This makes it easier for people eating there to choose sustainably caught fish, marked with the MSC and ASC logo,” says Kespro’s Quality Manager Mia Haavisto.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) manages the most reliable environmental certification programme in the world for sustainable fishing and the traceability of seafood. The MSC ecolabel on a fish and shellfish product ensures that the product originates from a sustainable fish stock and a sustainable fishery.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) manages the certification programme for responsible aquaculture. ASC certified fisheries observe strict environmental and social responsibility criteria.

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