Sobeys Inc. launches traceability system to track seafood from ocean to plate

Customers can now trace the journey of their seafood purchases back to the fisherman who caught it, where and how

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Sobeys Inc. is launching a sustainable seafood traceability system today to provide Canadians with unprecedented visibility into the quality and sustainability of the seafood they eat. Through a partnership with Ecotrust Canada's Thisfish™ traceability program, customers can now trace a variety of fresh seafood products and frozen Sensations by Compliments seafood right back to the fisherman who caught it, the boat it was caught from, the fishing area where the catch took place and the fishing method used.

"Sobeys Inc. is proud to be the first Canadian grocery retailer to offer an innovative and comprehensive seafood traceability system that focuses on more sustainable sources and allows customers to verify the authenticity and quality of their seafood purchases," says David Smith, Vice President, Retail Strategy and Sustainability. "It not only provides Canadians with a robust set of information about the source of their seafood, it directly connects them to the fishermen that catch their fish."

Through the transparency that seafood traceability provides, customers are able to understand where their seafood comes from, make informed decisions about their seafood purchases and be confident in knowing that the products they buy were caught and handled using responsible fishing practices and processes.

From oceans to dinner plates, traceable seafood products are uniquely coded and tracked from the time they are caught through to their journey to Sobeys Inc. stores to give customers a behind-the-scenes, full-access look into their seafood purchase: its origin, preparation tips and delicious recipes, photos of the boat and crew, the captain's logbook, as well as information about Sobeys Inc.'s sustainability initiatives. Customers even have the option to send a note directly to the fisherman that caught their fish.

Traceable seafood products are available at Sobeys stores across the country, as well as Thrifty Foods and IGA stores in Western Canada.

The traceable frozen Sensations by Compliments lineup includes sustainable seafood products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council:

  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Pacific Halibut Fillets
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Albacore Tuna Portions
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Black Cod Fillets

The assortment of traceable fresh seafood varies by store based on regional and seasonal availability.

Powered by and in partnership with Ecotrust Canada, customers can trace their fresh seafood by inputting a unique code found on the product packaging on www.thisfish.info. On traceable Sensations by Compliments seafood, customers will find a unique code to input on www.compliments.ca/madewithcare and a QR code to scan using a smartphone.

In addition to its consumer benefits, the fishermen who proudly stand behind their seafood products are encouraged by the opportunities that this traceability system provides and are inspired to take even greater measures to ensure the sustainability of their fishing practices.

"As fishermen, it's great for my crew and me to realize that somebody around the world is buying our fish, and that they can look at who we are and where we come from," says Vic Amos, B.C. Fisherman. "Traceability goes back to high quality and sustainability goes back to accountability, so it's important for me to ensure that I fish sustainably and deliver a high-quality product, too."

"Sobeys is committed to helping to ensure the long-term viability of seafood and will continue to look for opportunities to provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions and to further the cause of responsible seafood sourcing," adds Smith.

Sobeys Inc.'s sustainable seafood traceability system is part of a larger effort the Company is undertaking in actively promoting seafood sustainability. For more information about Sobeys' Sustainable Seafood Policy, please visit www.sobeyscorporate.com/sustainability.

About Sobeys Inc.
Sobeys Inc. is a leading national grocery retailer and food distributor headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods, as well as Lawtons Drug Stores. Sobeys Inc. is committed to providing the most worthwhile experience for its customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

SOURCE SOBEYS INC.

For further information:

Media contact:

Ray McIlroy
Fleishman-Hillard Canada
416-645-8172
Ray.McIlroy@fleishman.ca

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