Over the past week Asda’s first Wild Fisheries Annual Review created a ripple of interest amongst the ocean of sustainability experts. The review, a first for UK supermarkets, lists each fishery that supplies Asda own brand products and provides an assessment of their sustainability practices.
Asda’s sustainability director claimed that their decision to be more transparent about their own branded fish products was driven by customers requesting information; possibly influenced by Greenpeace’s 2014 tuna league table and campaigns featuring celebrity chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which have helped raise the profile of the issue amongst shoppers.
A lack of awareness or cautious support?
Recording an average of 5,000 daily impressions during 8 to 15 July, the interest around the story was positive even if it did not create huge waves. Whether this is due to a lack of general awareness of the report or whether interested audiences cautiously wait to see what action from Asda will emerge. Either way, it’s still a positive step in the interests of transparency.
It will be interesting to see how quickly Asda can tackle some of the challenges highlighted. Also, will shoppers change their behavior according to the new information now available and can they even find it?
Asda have undoubtedly raised the bar. If Asda can produce this report then we would hope to see more information being published by other supermarkets and the food sector as a whole – does this signify a new turn in the tide of sustainability reporting and transparency?