Mars launches sustainable pet food in UK

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 17th March 2011

Whiskas purple pawMars Petcare has announced the introduction of a new line of sustainably-fished pet food products, endorsed by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), in the UK.

Selected packs from Mars Petcare’s Sheba and Whiskas lines in the UK are now MSC-certified, offering consumers a choice of more sustainable pet food products for the very first time.

In April last year, Mars Petcare – the world’s largest petcare business – committed to using only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. Working with the WWF, Mars developed milestones for its sustainability commitment, to be implemented 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.

“For consumers, making the best environmental choice can be tricky – especially when you are trying to apply the same ethical values to all aspects of your weekly shop,” said Toby Middleton, MSC UK Manager.

“Making sustainable seafood choices can be a particular challenge, whether you are looking for sustainable haddock for the family or cat food for the family pet.”

“By sourcing MSC certified fish and using the MSC ecolabel in these new ranges, Mars Petcare has made it simple for cat owners to shop with confidence and to reward sustainable fishing practice – even when buying for pets,” he said.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification.  The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:

* Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
* Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
* Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.