Sustainable seafood in Australian supermarkets – showing Hong Kong how it’s doneAround the world, the supermarket is top location for consumers purchasing seafood items. Being so important to the seafood trade, supermarkets also play a pivotal role in influencing and educating consumers about the importance of choosing sustainable seafood. Outside Hong Kong, many leading global supermarket chains have begun to take active steps to offer sustainable seafood.
One prime example is Coles in Australia. In 2011, Coles became Australia’s first supermarket chain to partner with WWF, a collaboration which was designed to improve the sustainability of Coles’ seafood supply chain by sourcing more sustainable seafood products, including Marine Stewardship Council- (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council- (ASC) certified products. For seafood products that are not either MSC or ASC-certified, WWF-Australia assesses the sustainability of the items before advising Coles on whether they should continue sourcing them. The partnership also aims to educate the public about sustainable seafood – and in the last few years it has created a wave of change in the Australian sustainable seafood market.
Today, Coles has made significant improvements to the sustainability of its seafood supply chain. Across Australia, Coles’ salmon and Queensland wild-caught prawns are now ASC- and MSC-certified products. As these products become more available, Coles’ customers now have much less difficulty locating sustainable seafood. Here in Hong Kong, a place often depicted as a seafood paradise, supermarkets can also play a much more proactive role in making seafood more sustainable. The commitment and achievement of Coles is an excellent model and reference for Hong Kong’s supermarkets – showing them how to improve the sustainability of their seafood supply and promote sustainable seafood to their customers.