Continente is the first retailer in Portugal to receive MSC and ASC certification for its fresh seafood counters. The MSC Chain of Custody Standard ensures the traceability of products from sustainable fisheries with MSC certification and ASC-certified aquaculture farms.
With the certification of the 41 fish departments of its hypermarkets beginning in the next few weeks, Continente can offer its consumers the guarantee that the fish presented with the MSC or ASC label is traceable from a sustainable fishery or a responsible aquaculture farm to the final consumer.
Continente hypermarkets are one of several retail brands owned by Sonae MC, a leading retailer in Portugal with more than 500 outlets.
“Customers increasingly want to be informed about what they eat, namely the origin of the products. In the case of fish, this has been a concern of ours for several years, regardless of consumer demands. In 2010, Sonae MC was the first retail food group in Portugal to adopt a fisheries sustainability policy, establishing a benchmark by taking the lead among the entire national distribution regarding this concern,” said Carla Santos, Director of the Fish Department Business Unit at Sonae MC.
“We have established principles for the protection of fish species and stocks throughout their value chain and we are committed to continuing to do so.”
Species such as the MSC Cape hake and red fish for bulk frozen fish counters and ASC salmon for the fresh fish counter are covered by this certificate. Also, in the fresh section is the Norwegian salted cod.
The certification of the fish departments of Continente encompass the 41 Continente hypermarkets, three logistics platforms responsible for receiving and distributing seafood, as well as training more than 1000 employees and teams in the fresh fish section and the logistics section of the group.
The retailer’s commitment to the sustainability of fishery products has been noted in the offering of Continente’s own brand, in which most products were approved in 2020. There will be twenty products with the little blue MSC label available in stores.
“Portugal is an coastal nation where fishing is a central part of its culture and gastronomy. In order for fish to continue to be available in the future, it is essential to ensure that it comes from sustainable sources. The certification of the Sonae MC group helps Portuguese consumers to recognize and choose traceable fish of sustainable origin,” commented Laura Rodríguez, Director of the MSC Programme in Spain and Portugal.
“We congratulate Sonae MC for being a pioneer in the MSC certification of its fish departments and bulk frozen fish counters in Portugal, and we thank the entire team that led the project for its implementation and their professionalism.”