Mars Petcare to use sustainable fish

Posted by Josette Dunn on 7th April 2010

In an industry first, the Mars, Incorporated’s Petcare business has announced its commitment to using only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. Set against a backdrop of dwindling global fish stocks, Mars, which operates one of the world’s largest petcare businesses – has worked with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to develop its fish sustainability commitment. The company aims to achieve the following milestones, across its entire petcare portfolio:

* Only using fish from 100% sustainable wild catch and sustainable aquaculture sources
* Replacing all wild catch whole fish and fish fillet with sustainable fish by-products and sustainable aquaculture.
* Only using sustainable alternatives to marine fish ingredients.

An important milestone in this sustainability journey will be the introduction of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified petfood in Europe by the end of 2010. This year Mars Petcare Europe will begin rolling out MSC certification across a selection of fish varieties in the SHEBA® and WHISKAS® brand portfolios across Europe, offering consumers a choice of more sustainable pet food products for the first time.

“We are leading the way with this commitment to use only sustainably sourced fish and as the world’s largest petcare business we’re in a position to affect real change.” said Pierre Laubies, Global President of Mars Petcare. “We are confident we can be a catalyst for change and by working with sustainability organisations such as the WWF we hope to encourage the rest of the industry to follow.”

“There is no quick fix to this problem but when companies as influential as Mars take a leadership role, it is great news for the world’s oceans.” said Jason Clay, Senior Vice President Market Transformation, WWF US. “Companies of all sizes need to be responsible in how they source their raw materials and understand the importance of acting now. We hope that this sets a precedent for other manufacturers.”

This announcement is a part of Mars Incorporated’s commitment to responsibly source its raw materials across its business. In 2009, Mars became the first global chocolate company to commit to changing the way and the pace sustainable cocoa farming practices are being advanced by aiming to certify its entire cocoa supply as being produced in a sustainable manner by 2020.

For 30 years, Mars has led the chocolate industry in its efforts to achieve sustainable cocoa production, investing well over $10 million in each of the past several years across a wide range of initiatives, including certification partnerships with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. In September 2009, Mars Petcare opened the world’s first pet food manufacturing facility in the US with a sustainability certification. The facility received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its industry leading efforts to recycle water, reduce energy use, and protect against erosion and light pollution.