BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, IKEA Canada announced that seafood sold and served in its stores comes from sustainable and responsible sources. IKEA's commitment to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified seafood marks the next step towards a wider offer of healthier and more sustainable food, and follows the successful introduction of veggie balls earlier this year.
"We know that our customers have an increasing interest in what's in their food and where it comes from," says Stefan Sjöstrand, President, IKEA Canada. "IKEA is commmitted to operating our business in the most sustainable way possible, and our food offer is no exception. As a destination for salmon and other seafood, we have a great opportunity to lead and support the adoption of more sustainable practices in the seafood industry."
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 90% of the world's fish stocks are either fully exploited or overexploited. As a responsible business, IKEA made the commitment to offer only seafood that is certified by the MSC (for wild caught seafood) and ASC (for farmed seafood). The MSC and ASC certification programs are globally recognized as the world's most credible, science-based standards for sustainable and responsible seafood.
The total IKEA seafood offering includes over 23 different certified seafood species, such as salmon, herring and shrimp. This makes IKEA the food service provider that offers the largest variety of certified seafood globally.
"I am really proud that our customers can enjoy tasty fish that has been responsibly produced by people with good working conditions. This is a result of our high ambitions and commitment regarding the whole value chain; from fisheries and farms to training of our co-workers and certification of the restaurants," says Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services AB.
“The IKEA commitment to source and sell only certified sustainable seafood demonstrates global leadership and is already helping to secure seafood supplies for future generations. It also sends a strong message to other industry leaders on the role they hold in ensuring a healthy future for oceans in Canada and globally. We are delighted that IKEA is committed to using the MSC ecolabel on product providing consumers with clear choices for sustainable seafood,” says Jay Lugar, Program Director, Canada, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
"I am delighted with IKEA´s decision to source ASC certified responsibly farmed seafood. The global IKEA commitment to the ASC programme is a game changer; introducing the ASC to consumers in many new markets. This is exceptional leadership in supporting the change necessary to promote the development of responsible aquaculture. Customers can now be assured that the salmon in IKEA's restaurants and Swedish Food Markets comes from farms that respect the environment, the rights of workers, and the interests of the local community," says Chris Ninnes, CEO, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
Seafood has a long tradition in Swedish kitchens and it is specifically enjoyed during Christmas, Easter and Midsummer celebrations. As part of IKEA's Swedish heritage, it is sold and served every day at IKEA stores around the world.
Note to editors
MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), is an international non-profit organisation that certifies sustainable fishery practises for wild caught fish. MSC certified fisheries must continually meet requirements for maintaining fish populations, reducing impacts on the environment and ensuring that the fishery is well managed.
ASC* (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), is an international non-profit organisation that sets environmental and social standard for certifying responsible and well-managed fish farms. It contributes to ensuring availability of seafood, the health of the ocean and the livelihood of local communities that rely of the farms for the long term.
* The ASC Salmon Standard was launched in 2012 as a result of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue that began in 2004, initiated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This Dialogue involved IKEA and other industry stakeholders.
About IKEA Canada
IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by 821 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 12 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors. Founded in 1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.IKEA.ca.
SOURCE IKEA Canada
For further information: Tanya Bevington, Corporate Communications Manager, IKEA Canada, tanya.bevington1@IKEA.com