Oceans play a major role in our ecosystem: they represent one of the main sources of carbon on Earth and help climate control. Many people depend on sea and coastal biodiversity for their food needs.
Aware of its role as responsible retailer, Casino Group has been working for many years towards promoting more responsible fishing and aquaculture by committing to sustainable fishing through relying on managing resources and limiting non selective fishing gear, by developing responsible aquaculture through increasing the offer of labelled products, developing new branches and supporting local fishing.
The fisheries and aquaculture policy of Casino Group
4 lines of actions
OFFERING PRODUCTS WHICH ARE RESPECTFUL OF RESOURCES AND SEASONALITY
The Group has been committed for many years towards improving the fish products it offers.
Various measures in favour of preserving fishing resources were taken, especially by gradually ceasing the sale of endangered deep-sea species: emperor fish, blue ling, saber fish, grenadier, tusk, and red seabream as from January 2020, as well as sensitive species such as eels, elvers, North-East Atlantic dogfish, white grouper and, since 2017, tope shark and blue shark. Casino labels restrict their supplies in red tuna to tuna caught with small-scale fishing, in order to encourage its renewal.
Finally, given the necessity to replenish stocks put forward by scientific advice, Casino and Monoprix have been committed towards not selling bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) during the months of January, February and March, which is the period for reproduction. These responsible decisions help towards species renewal.
Promoting sustainable fishing
In 2018, the Group’s labels took a stand against electric fishing and they don’t sell species caught with this technique anymore.
The Group offers MSC labelled products. This label guarantees the sustainable management of fish stock while respecting the marine environment.
Tuna is a common source of proteins for many people. Over the past few years, the quantities of tuna caught have increased and have endangered the stocks of many species in various areas. Albacore tuna is one of the tuna species which is most caught in the world. In many fishing areas, stock has reached levels not allowing sufficient renewal of the species.
The sea products sector, especially canned tuna, represents risks regarding working conditions and supply (overfishing). Also, to promote more sustainable fishing, Casino Group is committed with its own labels towards:
- Fighting against illegal fishing by making sure that fishing boats supplying the brands are not on the list of INN boats (list of boats supposed to have used illegal fishing practices, not regulated or declared)
- Improving traceability and good fishing practices by:
- Encouraging suppliers to join ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation) and to sell fish caught by boats registered on the PVR (Proactive Vessel Register) ;
- Forbidding the most destructive fishing techniques and especially long lining;
- Defining the design brief requirements : for its own labels, whole albacore tunas over 20kg are used, allowing a better traceability and avoiding catching young fish;
- Strengthening its risk prevention actions for canned tuna sold under own label. Therefore, Casino Group has joined the TUPA working group (TUna Protection Alliance) coordinated by Earthworm Foundation. This working group, made up of distributors and manufacturers operating on the French market, aims at directing all the different players of this sector towards more responsible tuna fishing and supply. To achieve this, the working group uses tools which allow to map out the canned tuna value chain of the different players.
- Spreading supplies over different fishing areas in order to reduce stock pressure ;
- Enabling more responsible consumption by :
- Improving consumer information (indication of the species and the ocean where the fish was caught on the tin) ;
- Adapting the offer in store according to available resources;
- Not developing the offer based on albacore tuna.
- Encouraging sustainable supply for tuna
- The Franprix and Monoprix brands offer a range of tinned albacore tuna under Pavillon France brand and caught in free schools on the seine (guaranteed with no FAD). Moreover, all tuna fish in Franprix brand (grocery, cured and frozen products) are caught without fish-aggregating devices (FAD).
- Casino brands offer a tuna albacore reference, line caught, which is a fishing more respectful of the environment. Besides, for products in Casino brand and every day (tins), the following objectives have been set by the end of 2022 :
- Guaranteeing that at least 85 % of the albacore tuna are caught in free schools
- Guaranteeing that at least 40 % of the listao tuna are caught in free schools
Developing more responsible aquaculture
The Group’s brands offer a large range of farm products labelled as BIO (organic) or ASC. The design brief of organic aquaculture aims at guaranteeing economical fish farming in inputs, by limiting as much as possible the effect on aquatic environment. ASC-certified aquaculture production is committed to encouraging the preservation of the environment, biodiversity and water resources, and improving the working conditions of employees.
For instance, Monoprix only offers in the fish aisle organically-farmed fish or fish from the Monoprix sector. Moreover, all organic shrimps from the fish aisle come from extensive farming, without antibiotic treatments and fed organically without any supplements: they only eat what can be found in the tanks. Franprix only offers farmed-fish organically fed or ASC labelled in own brand in the frozen section.
The Group’s brands have developed sectors in partnership with their suppliers.
Monoprix has :
- created sectors in which the fish bred in aquaculture (sea bass, salmon, and trout) are fed foods without GMOs (<0,9%), without land-based animal flours, without antibiotic treatment, and which are traceable from the beginning to the end.
- developed an organic shrimp sector with shrimps fed with organisms present in the tanks and bred without antibiotic treatment.
- supported with its partner, a smoked salmon sector with salmons from selected arms and ASC certified. They are fed without GMOs (<0,9%), guaranteed without antibiotic treatment from sea-farming with a better consideration for animal welfare as regards water quality, fasting duration, the stunning and slaughtering method.
Casino brands have been working for many years with partners to develop sectors without antibiotics, which also favour the respect for nature, animal welfare and food quality. The brand has extended its commitment « without antibiotic treatment » to the fish sector with salmon and shrimps from Terre & Saveurs, bred without antibiotic treatment.
The consumption of farmed shrimps has increased over the past few years. To strengthen transparency and sustainability within the tropical shrimp sector (Equatorian origin), players of the shrimp value chain in France have been meeting in a working group led by Earthworm Foundation since 2020. The objective is to create a code of conduct identifying good practices to improve the practices within farms regarding:
- Breeding conditions (density, use of antibiotics) ;
- The environmental impact (pollution, déforestation of mangroves…) ;
- The social impact (respect for working conditions, link with local communities) ;
- The feeding of shrimps (composition, origin, transition methods towards more sustainable foods)
Foods for farmed aquaculture animals can be made of flours and fish oils. Wild fish can be used to produce these flours and fish oils. Casino Group has been taking part since 2021 in a common working group with other retail and mass catering players. This collective initiative aims at:
- Acquiring a precise vision of practices and alternative solutions which can be put in place to reduce the use of flours and fish oils
- Understanding the current practices of salmon providers
- Building progress plans
Supporting local fishing and French fisheries
Casino Group’s brands encourage local and seasonal supplies. Casino brands continue the expansion of the “La Criée” concept by developing partnerships with many harbours in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, close to the stores and which offer for example red tuna under the collective brand « Line red tuna, traditional fishing » which obtained the Sustainable fishing Ecolabel in 2019, this tuna is also MSC-certified. Monoprix offers wild fish from sustainable fishing or French fishing and it also puts forwards unknown species in order to encourage a more-diversified fish consumption and contribute consequently to:
- Reducing fishing pressure for certain species
- Supporting fishermen by valuing all the fish caught