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In London, 2.5 million McDonald's Filet-o-Fish to be MSC certified every year


Press release from McDonald's, World Oceans Day, Wednesday 8 June 2011

McDonald’s has today announced that over 13 million customers every day across Europe will be able to buy Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish in McDonald’s restaurants from October this year.

Additional information from Sustainable Fish City:

FishDividing the total number of Filet-o-Fish servings affected by this announcement by the 180 branches of McDonald's in London, this means that over 2.5 million Filet-o-Fish served in London every year will be MSC certified from October 2011. This is a significant contribution towards London becoming a sustainable fish city.

FishIn addition, this announcement by McDonald's suggests that the MSC eco-label could now be prominently promoted at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which McDonald's is a main sponsor. This would mean that sustainable fish, a core commitment in the London 2012 Food Vision, would be prominently promoted in the estimated 17 million meals to be served at the Games to athletes, dignitaries, international media, spectators, staff and volunteers.

The news comes as 7,000 McDonald’s restaurants across 39 European countries achieve certification to the MSC Chain of Custody traceability standard, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to enhance its sustainable sourcing practices.

Over 50% of the world’s marine fish stocks are fully exploited [1]. The MSC is an independent global organisation set up to tackle the problem of overfishing by recognising and rewarding sustainable fisheries through its certification and eco-labelling programme. McDonald’s will be the first company in its sector to introduce MSC certified white fish throughout Europe. Last year, the company sold approximately 100 million Filet-o-Fish portions across Europe.

The initiative will bring certified sustainable fish to millions of people, making it more accessible to more European consumers than ever before. McDonald’s will be the first food service retailer in many of its 39 European countries to sell any products carrying the MSC logo, which will start appearing on packaging from October.

The certification is a result of a long term commitment made by McDonald’s to work with suppliers to improve sustainable fishing practices through its global Sustainable Fisheries Policy.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald'sSteve Easterbrook, President of McDonald’s Europe said: “McDonald’s will be making MSC labelled fish available at an affordable price to millions of our customers across Europe. We chose the MSC certification as the most robust and recognisable independent accreditation of our own sustainable fisheries standard. This is an important milestone in our commitment to ensure future long-term supply.”

Rupert Howes, CEO of the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “McDonald’s Europe’s decision to source white fish products exclusively from fisheries that have met the rigorous MSC standard for sustainability is a tremendous testament to the ability of our industry leaders to transform the seafood market and help drive changes on the water. We’re delighted all of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish in Europe will be MSC certified and McDonald’s is making sustainable fish so widely available. This is a fantastic achievement and we hope that others will follow their lead.”

Notes to editors

[1] The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010, The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

[2] About McDonald’s Global Sustainable Fisheries Policy:

  • McDonald’s Global Sustainable Fisheries Policy was developed in 2003 with the help of Jim Cannon at Conservation International. Jim, now founder and CEO of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, is an independent expert and leader in his field, so McDonald’s encouraged its suppliers to work with him.
  • The policy requires that an annual independent assessment is carried out at each of the fisheries from which McDonald’s source. This assessment is conducted by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and uses the latest scientific information to rate each fishery according to three criteria: fish stock status, management quality and marine environment and biodiversity conservation.

[3] About the Eastern Baltic fishery:

  • One fishery for which the certification is a particular achievement is the Espersen cod fishery in the Eastern Baltic Sea. Five years ago the fishery was in trouble, with stocks at risk of collapsing and no management plan in place. It failed to meet McDonald’s Sustainable Fisheries Policy standards which meant McDonald’s had to stop sourcing fish from there – the first time it had taken such action.
Find out more on the Marine Stewardship Council website.

Rosie Boycott, London Food Board

"Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city. It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever."

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