25 February 2022

Guideline on fish and seafood

Reading time: 3 min.

With annual per capita fish consumption at 20 kg worldwide, fish is an important part of our diets. Fishing and aquaculture are also very important economically, 59.5 million people make their living in these industries. Yet, both industries also have negative ecological, social and economic impacts that the REWE Group wants to actively help remedy and reduce.


Working conditions and adherence to international standards – with regard to health and safety issues, for example – vary significantly by country. This is a problem particularly in parts of Asia and Africa, where workers aboard fishing boats may be at risk of physical abuse, murder or human trafficking. Of the world’s wild fish stocks, 35% are overfished and 65% are fully exploited. Around 650,000 marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, and 10 million sharks are caught as bycatch every year; and humane killing is often not the reality at wild fisheries or aquaculture. Furthermore, dwindling numbers of predatory fish species could alter the structure of marine ecosystems. As the rapid increase in aquaculture farms takes up more and more space, this is affecting biodiversity in areas such as tropical and subtropical coastal regions. It is possible for fish feed and harmful substances in the waste water of these farms to pollute aquatic ecosystems.

Our Goals

To actively contribute to reducing and remedying negative ecological, social and economic impacts on the fish and seafood supply chain, the REWE Group has set itself the following goals: In Germany, REWE wants to ensure that 100 percent of its private-label products in the areas of deep frozen, convenience, and fresh and tinned fish and seafood are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), GLOBALG.A.P., Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), or organic certification, as applicable. Also, in the long term, the packaging of all fish mono-products will be marked with a tracking code providing customers with detailed information on where the fish was sourced and how it was processed.

Our Measures

To reach these goals, the REWE Group requires that its suppliers, including its fish suppliers, meet the International Labour Organization’s core labour standards in order to ensure the safeguarding of human rights and the adherence to social performance and occupational safety standards along the entire supply chain. In addition, all processing plants in risk countries must prove that they regularly submit to social auditing in accordance with standards such as amfori BSCI, and that they therefore meeting minimum social performance requirements. When procuring wild fish species to be sold, the REWE Group adheres to a positive list that systematically assesses the health of fish stocks, the recommendations of leading environmental organizations (such as the WWF), the fishing gear used, any existing certifications and – in the case of certain species – potential social risks. In aquaculture, fish is procured from certified sources (certified organic farms, GLOBALG.A.P., and ASC) in order to ensure, among other things, that fish and shrimp farms meet all the statutory requirements in the country of production. The REWE Group also requires that its suppliers be able to disclose all details concerning their entire supply chain if asked to do so.