Loblaw Makes Commitment to Source 100 Per Cent Sustainable Seafood by 2013 | WWF-Canada

Loblaw Makes Commitment to Source 100 Per Cent Sustainable Seafood by 2013

Posted on 20 May 2009
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BRAMPTON, ON – May 20, 2009 – Today, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) makes a commitment to source all seafood sold in its retail locations from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. The commitment covers all canned, frozen, fresh, wild and farmed seafood products, in all categories. The Loblaw Sustainable Seafood Policy Initiative represents Loblaw’s commitment to conservation of marine resources and a healthy ocean environment.

“The world’s oceans are facing an unprecedented crisis,” said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Loblaw is determined to think differently about how it sources seafood and to work in collaboration with the fishing industry and environmentalists to seek sustainable alternatives for customers.”

The Loblaw Sustainable Seafood Policy Initiative outlines Loblaw’s plan to establish a sustainable seafood procurement practice that focuses on responsible sourcing in every category the Company markets. Sourcing sustainable seafood, both fish and shellfish, whether wild-caught or farm-raised, requires greater protection of aquatic habitats and more attention to careful harvesting. The policy calls for some very tough decisions to be made, including the phasing-out of unsustainable supply where it cannot be demonstrably improved.

“This initiative is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive steps we have seen from a grocery retailer in Canada, and indeed the world,” said Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. “We look forward to working with Loblaw to help them achieve the commitments laid out in their policy. When fulfilled, the Loblaw policy will go a long way to help conserve the well being of our oceans and marine life, setting an important example for other retailers to follow.”

In 2006, Loblaw developed five pillars of corporate social responsibility: Respect the Environment; Source with Integrity; Make a Positive Difference in our Community; Reflect our Nation’s Diversity; and Be a Great Place to Work. The Source with Integrity pillar is the key driver of the Sustainable Seafood Policy. Today’s consumers are concerned with the sources of the food they serve their families. Loblaw believes it is important that we address these concerns and clearly communicate with customers Loblaw sourcing practices. In 2008, Loblaw took the first steps to offer sustainable seafood options to customers by launching Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified products and now offers 12 such products. The MSC is an independent international non-profit organization that has set a global standard for the certification of fisheries with environmentally responsible, sustainable fishing methods.

For the next 12 months, Loblaw has committed to achieve the following:
  1. Start assessing all sources of wild and farmed seafood, in partnership with WWF.
  2. Continue to work through the Company’s supply chain for control brand seafood products to prepare for additional audits to MSC standards.
  3. Develop and begin to implement a four-year implementation plan, upon completion of the seafood sourcing assessment.
  4. Identify sources with no improvement potential, which should be stopped or phased-out as soon as possible, based on results of the assessment.
  5. Identify and recruit experts in fisheries and marine science, to provide Loblaw with sound, independent advice, when needed.
  6. Confirm Loblaw’s policy decisions and communicate these with suppliers, distributors, colleagues, customers, franchisees, the general public, and other external stakeholders.
The practice of sourcing seafood from sustainable sources will evolve over a period of time. Loblaw has already begun the process and is committed to making significant change at every step of the way. As Loblaw takes strides toward achieving the goal of a sustainable seafood supply, the Company will continue to communicate progress and decisions with all of its key stakeholders, clearly and transparently.

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name®, and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice financial services and offers the PC points loyalty program.

For more information please contact:
Karen Gumbs
Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs
Loblaw Companies Limited
905-459-2500 ext. 6041
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