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Petfood brands working to sustainably source fish

Credit: IQI Petfood

Petfood brands are working to increase the fish sustainably sourced for use as ingredients, as Mars Pet Nutrition Europe recently announced that 100 percent of fish used in its petfood products are sustainably sourced, according to its sustainable fish sourcing guidelines. A large number of Mars’ brands use fish as part of their ingredients in Europe, including Sheba, Whiskas, Pedigree and Dreamies.

Fish suppliers used by Mars Petcare are expected to follow its Supplier Code of Conduct, which outlines social, environmental and ethical expectations of its suppliers alongside globally aligned standards and international law. Fish that is accepted by the company must be certified or endorsed by credible third parties. It also aims to source from fisheries that are maintaining the diversity of the ecosystem.

“Mars Pet Nutrition uses fish in its portfolio of petfood products as it enables pets to enjoy nutritionally balanced, healthy, and high-quality petfood,” explains Deri Watkins, Regional President at Mars Pet Nutrition Europe. “While our business accounts for a small share of the global seafood market, we continue to play our part in supporting a healthy future for ocean ecosystems and the seafood sector helping all to grow and thrive in a responsible way.”

Helen Warren-Piper, Chief Growth Officer at Mars Pet Nutrition Europe said that pet owners could feel more “confident” about the choices they make regarding feeding their pets.

“In our dedication to protect our oceans and the future of fish, our SHEBA® brand at the same time works to deliver the world’s largest coral reef restoration program and plans to restore coral reefs,” she says. 

Mert Kacmaz, Commercial Vice President at Mars Pet Nutrition Europe comments, “Reaching our 100% sustainably sourced fish target in Europe is a great testament to what can be achieved in close collaboration with our suppliers, through years of rigorous work and a bold commitment to drive sustainability at scale.

“We work with our suppliers to ensure we source high quality raw materials, in a way that complies with our Supplier Code of Conduct and aligns with our sustainability expectations.”

With the support of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which Mars Petcare has been partnered with since 2010, its fish sustainable sourcing programme ensures that it doesn’t source any endangered fish species, which are drawn from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It continues to work with certifying organisations and industry experts globally to continue to review and adapt its approach to more sustainable fish sourcing.

Their programme works towards four strategies to achieve more sustainable sourcing which include reducing pressure on fish ecosystems, seeking to source more sustainable fish, restoring critical habitats and advancing respect for people in the seafood industry. This is best summarised by Mars’ chosen wording: reduce, reward, restore and respect.

Echoing Mars’ sentiments is IQI Petfood, which in a press release dated June 7, said that they were working with both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to ensure that their fish-based ingredients are sustainable.

Currently, three ingredients that IQI uses are ASC-certified: freshwater, trout, salmon and shrimp. ASC standards take into account the environmental and social impact of farming, as farms are required to show their efforts towards minimising their impact on the environment.

The company went on to mention that they had successfully passed the ASC audit, which focuses on supply chain assurance which establishes whether suppliers being used have been certified.

For more information on Mars Petcare visit their website, HERE.

For more information on IQI Petfood visit their website, HERE.



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