Wal-Mart Takes Lead On Supporting Sustainable Fisheries
All Wild-Caught and Frozen Fish Suppliers to be Marine Stewardship Council-Certified
Bentonville, Ark., Feb. 3, 2006 – Wal-Mart today announced plans to purchase all of its wild-caught fresh and frozen fish for the United States market from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified fisheries within the next three to five years. The first step toward this goal will be to have product that currently comes from MSC-certified fisheries carry the MSC eco-label starting later this year. This initiative is part of Wal-Mart’s continued commitment to offering sustainable products at affordable prices to its customers.“We believe it’s absolutely essential to take a leadership role in working with suppliers to ensure that the world’s wild fish populations can grow and replenish themselves,” said Peter Redmond, Wal-Mart vice president and divisional merchandise manager of deli and seafood. “The MSC label assures our customers that they are buying from a retailer that is taking concrete steps to keep wild-caught fish available to present and future generations. This is both environmentally responsible and responsive to our customers.”
Wal-Mart is encouraging fisheries to adopt policies that ensure customers will continue to be supplied with a full range of wild-caught fish. The company currently works with a number of MSC-certified fisheries and is giving non-certified suppliers three to five years to develop plans and programs to become certified. If these suppliers commit to this initiative and succeed within that timeframe, Wal-Mart will continue to work with them.
"This is a big and exciting development, demonstrating a leadership position," said Rupert Howes, chief executive of the Marine Stewardship Council. "As part of a wider company commitment to sustainable seafood procurement, Wal-Mart has committed to source, over a number of years, all of its fresh and frozen wild capture supplies for the United States market from fisheries certified against the MSC’s standard. It is hoped that this commitment to the MSC program will encourage other fisheries into the assessment process and provide a powerful new route to raise awareness of sustainable seafood choices with the American public."
“Our MSC certification initiative is only the latest result of Wal-Mart’s efforts to promote and engage in sustainable business practices in the fish and seafood sector,” said Peter Redmond. “We have been working on programs for farm-raised shrimp and salmon and hope to be able to discuss our plans in those areas in the near future.”
In addition to its work with the MSC, Wal-Mart is partnering with Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund to make improvements such as reducing harmful environmental impacts and encouraging support for broader marine eco-system management and protection activities.
The MSC program is one of many initiatives that reflect Wal-Mart’s commitment to leadership in business sustainability. The scope and scale of the company’s business presents great potential to effect positive change. Through its business sustainability program, Wal-Mart takes advantage of and creates opportunities both to influence its own operations and to lead change in the business world at large. As part of its mission to improve the quality of life for people around the world, Wal-Mart has committed to taking a leadership position in the areas of climate and renewable energy, waste reduction and recycling, and the development of sustainable products.
More about Wal-Mart’s environmental initiatives is available on www.walmartstores.com/sustainability.
About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non-profit organization set up to promote solutions to the problem of over-fishing. Its distinctive blue eco-label can now be found on more than 300 products sold in major retail chains in more than 24 countries. Further information: www.msc.org.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
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