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Iglo Group welcomes the MSC certification of the Sea of Okhotsk Fishery in Far East Russia

25th September, 2013


Iglo Group welcomes the MSC certification of the Sea of Okhotsk Fishery in Far East Russia

An important step to secure Fish Fingers for future generations.

Iglo Group, a leading member of the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance, has worked with the Russian Pollock Catchers Association and other leading international brands* over the last 4 years to support the Sea of Okhotsk fishery in achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. As the Sea of Okhotsk is the second largest white fish fishery to achieve MSC certification, this move will have a significant and positive impact upon the sustainability of global fish stocks.

As a joint founder of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the responsible sourcing of fish is at the heart of Iglo Group's sustainability programme Forever Food. With this development, Iglo Group's independently certified sustainable total fish volume across Europe will rise from 52% MSC to approximately 80% MSC, helping to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy Iglo Group’s fish fingers in the future. 

Commenting on the news Peter Hajipieris, Iglo Group Chief Technical and Sustainability Officer, said,

“We should celebrate that the majority of the world's Pollock is now sourced from MSC Certified Fisheries. Much of the Pollock we buy will go into some of the 2.3 billion fish fingers we produce a year – enough to go round the world more than 4 times. The certification of Pollock from the Sea of Okhotsk fishery will significantly increase the amount of sustainably sourced fish that European consumers eat.”

“Although Iglo Group sources all its Pollock, Cod, Haddock, Hake, Salmon and Plaice from fisheries that are responsibly managed to our Forever Food criteria, Iglo Group will continue to work with these fisheries and organisations like the MSC to further develop consumer communication about how we’re working to ensure that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy Fish Fingers from the most sustainable available sources.”

“The Russian Pollock Catchers Association deserves tremendous credit for their vision and determination to overcome numerous obstacles to certify the Sea of Okhotsk.  Iglo Group is proud to have played an important role in this international collaboration between government fisheries agencies, fish catchers, fish brands and environmental organisations to support this project.” 

Commenting on the news Nicolas Guichoux, MSC Global Commercial Director, said, 

“Russia is one of the world’s leading seafood producers so this is very good news for our oceans and global food security. This is also great news for seafood lovers. Iglo Group have played a pivotal role in the Alliance of companies that have helped to bring this fishery to its certification. Seafood sustainability is rising up the agenda for more and more countries and the Russian pollock fishers and fishery managers have devoted great effort, making some changes and committing to others to ensure that their sustainable pollock fishery continues to be managed sustainably into the future. I’m proud to welcome the Russia Sea of Okhotsk pollock fishery as an MSC certified, sustainable fishery.”

Commenting on the news Alexey Buglak, PCA Executive Director, said, 

“Sea of Okhotsk Pollock is a symbolic fishery inside Russia. Over several years, the PCA and national fishery management agencies had been working hard to integrate MSC requirements within the national fishery management system. Now we are proud that the Sea of Okhotsk fishery has obtained MSC certification as sustainable and well-managed fishery. PCA member companies highly appreciate the role of the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance companies helping the fishery to achieve the MSC level. We would also like to give special credit to the Iglo Group for its leadership in this unique sustainability journey with the RPSA".   

NOTES

Iglo Group will continue to work within the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies to support the Russian Pollock Catchers Association to deliver their Action Plan for the Sea of Okhotsk.

Iglo Group will continue to be a part of the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance and support the MSC assessment of the remainder of the Pollock fisheries in the West Bering Sea, with a view to obtaining MSC Certification.

What MSC Certification of Sea of Okhotsk Fishery in Russia means for Iglo Group and consumers:

  • The Sea of Okhotsk Fishery is the second largest white fish fishery to be awarded MSC certification.
  • Iglo Group has more MSC certified products than any other food company in Europe by country market presence.
  • All Iglo Group fish is 100% responsibly sourced to its Forever Food criteria. Once Pollock from the Sea of Okhotsk comes into the supply chain, 80% of the fish used by the Group will be MSC certified. 
  • Iglo Group sources all its Pollock, Cod, Haddock, Hake, Salmon and Plaice from fisheries that are responsibly managed. The Group is working to achieve MSC certification for all the fisheries it uses.
  • In 2012 MSC certified Birds Eye Cod and Haddock Fish Fingers boosted the total amount of certified fish in the UK market to 22%.
  • In May 2013, Iglo Austria became the first of the Group’s markets to reach 100% MSC certified for its fish range.
  • The total Iglo branded certified sustainable fish volume will rise to just under 100% when Sea of Okhotsk Pollock comes in to the supply chain.
  • With this work we are proud that all Iglo Germany Pollock products will be sourced from MSC certified fisheries and we anticipate that this will happen over the first 6 months of 2014 as Russian SoO MSC Pollock makes its way into the supply chain.
  • The total Birds Eye branded certified sustainable fish volume will rise to just under 70% when Sea of Okhotsk Pollock comes in to the supply chain.

* Besides Iglo Group, members of the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies include: Delmar, FrOsta, Gorton’s, High Liner Foods, Pickenpack, Royal Greenland and Young’s Seafood Ltd.

For further information please contact:

Bell Pottinger Pelham

Tom Cahn +442078613899, mobile +44 7917 242 078

Notes for editors:

Iglo Group is Europe’s leading branded frozen food business with sales of over €1.5bn and 28% market share. It produces and markets premium branded frozen food products in 11 countries and distributes across a number of other markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The group’s core brands of Iglo, Birds Eye, and Findus (in Italy only) are category-defining names synonymous with high quality, great tasting frozen food. The UK, Italy, Germany and Austria are the Group’s largest markets, representing approximately 85% of turnover.

Iglo Group’s product range includes iconic family favourites such as fish fingers and frozen peas along with innovative new ones such as Bake to Perfection and Rice Fusions. All of these meet family and consumer needs for great tasting, healthy, convenient and sustainable food that minimises waste and supports changing lifestyles.

Iglo Group has long recognised the delicate balance of nature and the Earth's ability to supply us with food. ‘Forever Food’ is the group’s unique sustainable development programme, founded on the values of caring for the environment, treating everyone fairly and working to make sure consumers prefer its food.  The group’s ‘Forever Food’ approach is complemented by a set of corporate values that reflect its culture, known as ‘PACE’ – performance, ambition, collaboration and energy.  PACE fosters cooperation, creativity, motivation and opportunity – all key to the group’s journey to be Europe’s leading frozen food business.