The MSC and ASC labels indicate that a fish or shellfish product has been caught without endangering fish stocks or farmed respecting nature, and that the product can be traced all the way from the sea to the fish counter. K Group offers the biggest selection of MSC certified fish and shellfish products in Finland. Certified fish counters, identifiable by the MSC and ASC labels displayed, enable the stores to also sell unpackaged certified fish products.
The first MSC and ASC certificates for fish counters at K-food stores were given in September to K-Supermarket Postitalo, K-Supermarket Fortuna, K-Supermarket Hertta, K-Supermarket Redi and K-Supermarket Tripla, all in Helsinki. The certifications were conducted by the independent certification agency Bureau Veritas, and granted by MSC Finland.
“As the most sustainable trading sector company in the world, we want to do our part in protecting fish stocks, while making sustainable choices as easy as possible for customers in our stores. We can all promote ecologically sustainable fishing by choosing MSC and ASC certified products at the fish counter,” says Matti Kalervo, K Group’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility.
Natural fish stocks have been declining due to overfishing, among other things, and many species that used to be common have become endangered. K Group’s grocery stores act in compliance with the group’s Fish and shellfish statement, and do not include in their selections fish classified as “Don’t buy” in WWF’s seafood guide. K-food stores favour sustainable fish stocks and MSC and ASC certified suppliers. The introduction of certified fish counters strengthens the sustainability of K Group’s fish selections further.
“Together with K Group, we have trained store staff, reviewed the store premises and processes, and mapped out the possibilities to grow the selection of sustainable fish and shellfish products. Fish counters are the final link in the certified supply chain, and also the one that is the most visible to consumers. It’s important that consumers have the opportunity to choose certifiably sustainable seafood alternatives also when shopping at the fish counter,” says Johanna Vepsä, Marketing and Communications Manager for MSC Finland.
The blue MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) label is awarded to wild fish or shellfish products from certified sustainable fisheries. MSC certificates have been given to over 39,000 fish and shellfish products and 370 fishing companies around the world. MSC is the most widely used sustainable fishing certificate that takes into account the whole ecosystem.
The turquoise ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) ecolabel guarantees that fish products have been farmed in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way. Responsible fish farming produces minimal environmental damage and prevents the impact of fish farming on natural fish stocks.