Green Business Awards 2010: Land, water and ecology - Winner Young's Seafood/Findus Group

According to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a quarter of the world's fish stocks are overexploited or in a state of depletion and the proportion is growing as consumer demand for fish and seafood increases.

In 2006, Young's Seafood took action to address that disturbing trend by introducing its own sustainability programme, Fish For Life, underpinned by its Ten Principles for Responsible Fish Procurement. It was the first such systematic approach to responsible sourcing by a seafood processing company.

Since then, Young's has been acquired by Findus Group and the Fish For Life programme has been adopted by the new parent and rolled out across Europe. For both Young's and Findus, it has been recognised as an opportunity to push forward the sustainability agenda throughout the seafood industry, and ensure that the oceans have a healthy future.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is no statutory requirement for companies processing seafood to ensure that it has come from a sustainable source. Fish for Life is Young's - and now Findus's - response to that need. Before sourcing from any fishery, it is subjected to a FFL healthcheck mechanism, which considers whether the fishing ground has MSC certification, the best scientific evidence on its stock levels, the legality and management of the fishery and other issues of by-catch and environment. It works closely with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, which provides up-to-date scientific data on fish species and fisheries.

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