AEON, Japan’s largest retailer, is the first store in the country to sell Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified salmon. Today, AEON and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan hosted a launch event to proudly celebrate that ASC certified salmon is now available in AEON stores throughout Japan.
The event attracted an enthusiastic audience of local consumers, media, and stakeholders. During the session, representatives of AEON, WWF Japan, the ASC and Lerøy Japan highlighted the need for responsible salmon aquaculture, and spoke about the significance of bringing ASC certified responsibly farmed salmon to the Japanese market.
Kinzo Matsumoto, General Manager, Sea Food Department, Food Merchandising Planning Div., AEON Retail said: “AEON is proud to support sustainable seafood. With this market launch of ASC certified farmed Atlantic salmon, we are excited to be able to offer our customers an even wider range of responsible choices when shopping for fish. The on-pack ASC logo guarantees that the fish comes from farms that ensure that their environmental and social impacts are minimised.”
Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, speaking at the event applauded AEON’s commitment: “I am delighted that AEON is committed to sourcing and selling ASC certified responsibly farmed Atlantic salmon in their stores across Japan. Salmon is farmed globally with nearly two thirds of all the salmon consumed coming from farms. With the sector’s predicted growth, it is increasingly important that the industry manages its aquaculture practices responsibly.
“We have seen a rapid growth in products carrying the ASC logo worldwide. There are now over 950 approved products with the ASC logo in 35 countries. In January this year alone, nearly 100 products and nine new countries were added. And, the addition of salmon products in Japan and globally will help boost responsible aquaculture even further.”
First ASC certified salmon farms
AEON will source its ASC certified farmed Atlantic salmon from the Lerøy Aurora Aroya Farm, which is part of the Lerøy Seafood Group.
The Villa Arctic AS Jarfjord Farm in Norway, also owned by Lerøy Seafood Group ASA and Salmar ASA, was the first salmon farm to gain ASC certification in January 2014. The: Lerøy Midt Hogsneset Nord Farm has also recently been certified.
Demonstrating responsible aquaculture practices
The ASC Salmon Standard was developed by a diverse stakeholder group with hundreds of participants, and carries the most robust global requirements for salmon farming.
By meeting the ASC Salmon Standard, certified salmon farms must demonstrate that they use responsible aquaculture practises that minimise their environmental and social impact.
ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish; preserve the diversity of the species and wild population; adhere to strict feed requirements and ensure social responsibility.
ASC certified salmon is easily recognised by the on-pack ASC logo. There are already 126 approved salmon products which carry the ASC logo, representing 15 per cent of ASC certified products.
The ASC logo means that the fish is from a source which has been independently certified as responsible.
ASC labelled seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm. In order to achieve chain of custody certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements and have in place traceability systems that ensure no product mixing or substitutions can occur.
By launching ASC certified salmon in the Japanese market, AEON helps customers make an informed choice for responsibly farmed seafood as well as helps them support responsible fish farmers.
Consumers increasingly want to feel confident that they are making a responsible choice when they eat fish, and AEON is giving them that opportunity.