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A sustainable fish supply - aims and measures of REWE Group


Wild fish - popular and threatened

Only sustainable fishing can keep the seas healthy and secure fish stocks in the long-term. This means that only as many fish are allowed to be caught as can be replenished, and the fishing methods must not be allowed to permanently damage the ecosystem of the seas.

Today many fish stocks have already been pushed beyond their limits through overfishing. Some species, such as eel, shark or certain types of tuna are even already facing extinction. However, the demand for fish is still increasing due to the growing global population.

REWE Group wants to face up to this challenge by relying on an assortment consisting of sustainably caught fish and seafood. Nearly 90% of store brand products at REWE and PENNY now originate from more sustainable fisheries.

REWE Group’s targets for protecting fish stocks and seas

The targets for fish purchasing are specified in detail in the “Guideline for purchasing sustainable wild fish”. This equally applies to REWE and PENNY. The most important targets in this guideline are:

1. Expanding the supply of sustainably produced wild fish.
2. Expanding the supply of farmed fish from sustainable aquaculture.
3. Labelling REWE’s private label brands of fish and seafood products and providing information on the source and type of fishery.
4. In the manufacturing process the working conditions of the fishermen and the employees in the fish processing industry are also taken into consideration.

How REWE Group implements the targets

These are currently the most important spheres of activity for a sustainable fish assortment:

• REWE Group is reorganising its fish purchasing process step by step. This process involves giving preference to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and the negotiation basis is being accordingly developed with the suppliers. 

• The reorganisation process is not always easy. For instance, currently there is not a sufficient variety of fish from certified sustainable fisheries for the fresh fish counters. And the supply of fish from sustainable aquaculture is also still limited. REWE Group has therefore initiated own projects for sustainable farmed fish– for example for catfish from domestic production.

• Information on the packaging and traceability of the fish products is continually being improved.

• REWE Group is trying to persuade not only its private label product producers but also brand label producers to provide more sustainability with regard to their fish products.

• Together with its suppliers, REWE Group is committing itself to other important targets, for instance excluding illegal “pirate fishing“, setting fishing quotas in accordance with scientific guidelines and establishing important marine protection zones.

Comprehensive labelling of products

REWE Group is comprehensively labelling the fish and seafood products sold under its private label brands. For instance, information printed on the packaging and the supplementary information on the Internet explain the source of the fish and the type of fishery.

Together with its suppliers, REWE Group is continually expanding the labelling on the packaging. The following information is already provided on packaging of many products:

• The names in German of the fish or types of seafood contained.
• The scientific names in Latin.
• In the case of wild fish the description and the identification number of the fishing area and as far as possible a map. In the case of aquaculture the land where the fish are bred.
• The fishing method used for the wild fish and the keeping method for aquaculture.

In addition, at the fresh fish counters there is information on whether the product being offered was deep-frozen and later thawed out.