In a move that strengthens the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility, Metro Inc. announced last week that it has adopted a sustainable fisheries policy for seafood products sold in its stores.
Starting in September 2010, Metro will stop selling a number of threatened species and will change its product labeling. By refusing to sell threatened species, the company says it hopes to help the recovery of fish stocks and the conservation of ocean diversity.
With annual sales of over $11 billion, Metro is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores and more than 250 drugstores. Walmart Canada announced a similar sustainable seafood policy last month.
Metro’s new sustainable fisheries policy involves four key supply criteria:
- Procurement will be limited to species and fishing areas whose renewal is ensured given their individual stocks and catch rates.
- Fisheries and aquafarms supplying Metro must prove that they use sustainable fishing methods.
- The supply chain from the fishing area to the consumer must be documented to allow for informative and transparent labeling.
- Metro’s decisions will take into account local economic issues.
All Metro suppliers will have to sign a code of conduct attesting to their commitment. The company, in turn, says it will collaborate with its suppliers while working towards what its calling a “balanced policy,” one that incorporates not only official scientific opinions, but also the points of view of all stakeholders, including governments, NGOs and companies in the supplier network. In addition, the company pledged to report on its commitment on a regular basis.
“In trying to constantly improve, we are committing to updating our species-specific diagnosis, based on the latest facts and scientific reports. We will favor suppliers who make tangible progress toward the sustainable management of their activities, and who will encourage recognized standards such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We will also continue to work with independent experts,” says Robert Sawyer, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Metro Inc.
Metro’s sustainable fisheries policy is available here.