New responsible sourcing policy to raise the level of transparency of marine ingredients used in aqua feeds

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To protect the ocean and ensure that fish stocks intended for direct or indirect human consumption are caught within clearly defined, sustainable limits, Nutreco and Skretting have published a new responsible sourcing policy that will be used as a practical guide to decide on the type of marine ingredients that can be sourced for its global operations.

The document builds into the ambitions set in Nutreco’s Sustainability RoadMap 2025, which aims to ensure that by 2025, Skretting sources marine ingredients that are 100% certified or coming from a fishery improvement project for its global operations, as well as ensuring that all the fishmeal and fish oil used to produce feed originate from fisheries that are managed according to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

The policy is built on a risk-based approach and was developed through internal collaboration within Nutreco and Skretting (sustainability, procurement and quality teams) at a global and local level to reflect the realities in the markets and included comments and revisions from external stakeholders.

Important areas addressed in the policy include:
Specific criteria on what to buy according to five sustainability classes of marine ingredients coming from whole fish, by-products from wild fish catch and by-products from aquaculture, aligned with the most important fishery management certifications in the industry.

Clear purchasing targets for each sustainability class defined, both the relative share of purchases and a defined timeline to reach the ambitions set in Nutreco’s Sustainaiblity RoadMap 2025.

Mapping of countries identified with a high risk of IUU fishing activities. Marine ingredients from these countries cannot be sourced unless they come from the highest sustainability classes. The policy in this area supports Nutreco and Skretting’s commitment and work in SeaBOS.

Mapping of countries identified with a high risk of forced labour on board fishing vessels. For these countries there are additional requirements to marine ingredient manufacturers. Skretting is the first company in the world that communicates an open and transparent criteria towards marine ingredient suppliers in this area.

In 2021, 80% of fishmeal and fish oil originating from whole fish and by-products that were purchased by Skretting came from fisheries certified according to the MarinTrust or MSC programmes, or from fisheries that were part of a MarinTrust Fishery Improvement Programme (FIP), which is important progress compared to the 69% reported in 2020. More details will be provided in the next Skretting Sustainability Report.

Find the policy here.

Jose Villalon, Corporate Sustainability Director, Nutreco says, We’re taking a critical step forward in outlining a clear path to attaining our RoadMap 2025 targets for marine ingredients. This marine ingredient sourcing policy sets a milestone in industry transparency and traceability in the very complex value chain of sourcing marine ingredients.” 

“Marine ingredients remain a crucial sourcing category in the aquaculture feed industry. This policy supports the Nutreco purchasing team to source those important ingredients in the best possible way, ensuring our customers get a high-quality ingredient that is guaranteed to meet our and their high sustainability standards, ” says Robert van den Breemer, Procurement Director Macro Ingredients, Nutreco.

Therese Log Bergjord, Skretting CEO and Jorge Diaz, Skretting Sustainability Manager

“The responsible use of marine ingredients is under constant scrutiny and we have an important role to play to contribute with more transparency in the industry. Through this policy we’re open about the criteria that we will use to source our ingredients and we want to be accountable for that. Reaching our targets is not something that we can do alone and it comes with challenges, but we will not shy away from them and will keep collaborating with all the relevant stakeholders to identify and mitigate the risks of our operations,” adds  Jorge Díaz, Sustainability Manager, Skretting.

“We know from developing the ASC Feed Standard that greater transparency is a key step towards reducing the impacts of marine ingredients in aquafeed. The aquaculture industry has made progress in this area, by increasing the use of bycatch for example, but there is plenty of room for more progress towards responsible sourcing. Transparent, accountable sourcing policies such as Skretting’s can play an important role in this,” says, Alex Warrington, Senior Coordinator Feed Standard, Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

More quotes: “Having a sourcing policy such as Skretting’s is a key asset for the whole marine ingredients value chain. By involving public disclosure of the origin of the marine ingredients used in feed, which is core to accountability and citizen empowerment, it meets customers’ expectations. We encourage customer-facing organisations to publicise such documentation, which maps key stakeholders and fisheries across the world. It also supports a better understanding of the role increasingly played by by-products as marine ingredient raw materials as well as collective efforts undertaken as part of Fishery Improvement projects (FIPs), – ” Veronique Jamin, Communications and External Relations Director, IFFO.

“Half of marine ingredients produced worldwide is certified by independent certification bodies against the MarinTrust standards. They assure that marine ingredients are sourced in fisheries championing best practices. Certified plants must comply with national environmental and social regulations and approved raw materials are properly segregated. Looking at the other 50% share of the industry, MarinTrust believes in Fishery Improvement Projects as a preliminary multistakeholder approach aimed at helping drive change in fisheries around the world. Nutreco’s Sustainability RoadMap 2025 validates our vision,” – Libby Woodhatch, Executive Chair, MarinTrust

“As a Skretting supplier, this marine ingredients responsible sourcing policy gives TripleNine a clear and practical guideline to Skretting’s current and future demand when it comes to sustainable raw materials and their documentation. Although the policy covers all vital aspects of this complex area, Skretting has managed to produce guidelines and targets that are clear and understandable to all stakeholders. Through its clarity and precision this policy creates a solid basis for future business.”- Jon Tarlebø, Chief Sales Officer, TripleNine

“We look forward to working with Nutreco/Skretting to help address a number of challenges facing the marine ingredients industry through implementation of the new responsible sourcing policy.  We appreciate the stated commitments to enhance use of byproducts, engage traders, support improvements in multi-species fisheries, not source from fisheries that create competition for human consumption, confront forced labor, and promote industry transparency through Ocean Disclosure Project reporting,” -Dave Martin, Program Director, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

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