Loblaw Makes Commitment to Source 100 Per Cent Sustainable Seafood by 2013



    Loblaw makes responsible, sustainable sourcing of seafood top priority

    BRAMPTON, ON, May 20 /CNW/ - Today, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw)
makes a commitment to source all seafood sold in its retail locations from
sustainable sources by the end of 2013. The commitment covers all canned,
frozen, fresh, wild and farmed seafood products, in all categories. The Loblaw
Sustainable Seafood Policy Initiative represents Loblaw's commitment to
conservation of marine resources and a healthy ocean environment.
    "The world's oceans are facing an unprecedented crisis," said Galen G.
Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Loblaw is determined to
think differently about how it sources seafood and to work in collaboration
with the fishing industry and environmentalists to seek sustainable
alternatives for customers."
    Available today on the Loblaw website at www.loblaw.ca/seafood, the
Loblaw Sustainable Seafood Policy Initiative outlines Loblaw's plan to
establish a sustainable seafood procurement practice that focuses on
responsible sourcing in every category the Company markets. Sourcing
sustainable seafood, both fish and shellfish, whether wild-caught or
farm-raised, requires greater protection of aquatic habitats and more
attention to careful harvesting. The policy calls for some very tough
decisions to be made, including the phasing-out of unsustainable supply where
it cannot be demonstrably improved.
    "This initiative is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive steps we
have seen from a grocery retailer in Canada, and indeed the world," said
Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "We look forward to working with
Loblaw to help them achieve the commitments laid out in their policy. When
fulfilled, the Loblaw policy will go a long way to help conserve the well
being of our oceans and marine life, setting an important example for other
retailers to follow."
    In 2006, Loblaw developed five pillars of corporate social
responsibility: Respect the Environment; Source with Integrity; Make a
Positive Difference in our Community; Reflect our Nation's Diversity; and Be a
Great Place to Work. The Source with Integrity pillar is the key driver of the
Sustainable Seafood Policy. Today's consumers are concerned with the sources
of the food they serve their families. Loblaw believes it is important that we
address these concerns and clearly communicate with customers Loblaw sourcing
practices. In 2008, Loblaw took the first steps to offer sustainable seafood
options to customers by launching Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified
products and now offers 12 such products. The MSC is an independent
international non-profit organization that has set a global standard for the
certification of fisheries with environmentally responsible, sustainable
fishing methods.

    
    For the next 12 months, Loblaw has committed to achieve the following:

    1.  Start assessing all sources of wild and farmed seafood, in
        partnership with WWF.

    2.  Continue to work through the Company's supply chain for control brand
        seafood products to prepare for additional audits to MSC standards.

    3.  Develop and begin to implement a four-year implementation plan, upon
        completion of the seafood sourcing assessment.

    4.  Identify sources with no improvement potential, which should be
        stopped or phased-out as soon as possible, based on results of the
        assessment.

    5.  Identify and recruit experts in fisheries and marine science, to
        provide Loblaw with sound, independent advice, when needed.

    6.  Confirm Loblaw's policy decisions and communicate these with
        suppliers, distributors, colleagues, customers, franchisees, the
        general public, and other external stakeholders.
    

    The practice of sourcing seafood from sustainable sources will evolve
over a period of time. Loblaw has already begun the process and is committed
to making significant change at every step of the way. As Loblaw takes strides
toward achieving the goal of a sustainable seafood supply, the Company will
continue to communicate progress and decisions with all of its key
stakeholders, clearly and transparently.

    About Loblaw Companies Limited

    Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is
Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general
merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest
private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and
franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over
139,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store
formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and
successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household
demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and
value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private)
label program, including the unique President's Choice(R), no name(R), and Joe
Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers
President's Choice financial services and offers the PC points loyalty
program.






For further information:

For further information: Karen Gumbs, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs,
Loblaw Companies Limited, karen.gumbs@loblaw.ca, (905) 459-2500 ext. 6041


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