Montreal, Thursday, May 20, 2010 - Metro Inc. announced today that it has adopted a policy with a view to offer its customers fresh and frozen wild and farmed seafood products from sustainable fisheries. This policy will be gradually implemented starting in September 2010, and will be in effect in all its supermarkets and discount stores across Quebec and Ontario by June 2011.
"Metro acknowledges that sustainable fisheries and the preservation of natural resources are vital for future generations. The adoption of a sustainable fisheries policy is consistent with our corporate responsibility approach," declared Robert Sawyer, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Metro Inc. ."This initiative is proof that we want to go beyond the role of distributor and become an actor in sustainable development."
Starting in September 2010, Metro will stop selling a number of threatened species and will change its product labelling. Metro will train store employees to prepare them to answer customers' questions regarding sustainable fisheries products. Metro will also rely on labelling and practical advice to inform its customers and raise their awareness.
To ensure its decisions are based on objective analysis of fished species, Metro has developed a balanced policy that first takes into account official scientific opinions, but also the points of view of all stakeholders, including governments, NGOs and suppliers.
Moreover, to add credence to its analysis of the issues related to sustainable fisheries, Metro has consulted renowned independent experts, including Jean-Claude Brêthes, professor at the Institut des sciences de la mer of the Université du Québec à Rimouski. "In any decision related to sustainable fisheries, it is important to rely on peer-reviewed scientific information, as is the case with MSC certification or the official scientific reports published by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as this provides the assurance of solid data," states Mr. Brêthes.
Four core criteria
Metro's sustainable fisheries policy consists in four supply criteria:
1. Procurement will be limited to species and fishing areas whose renewal is ensured given their individual stocks and catch rates.
2. Fisheries and aquafarms supplying Metro must prove that they use sustainable fishing methods.
3. The supply chain from the fishing area to the consumer must be documented to allow for informative and transparent labelling.
4. Metro's decisions will take into account local economic issues.
All Metro suppliers will have to sign a code of conduct attesting to their commitment.
"In trying to constantly improve, we are committing to updating our species-specific diagnosis, based on the latest facts and scientific reports. We will favour suppliers who make tangible progress toward the sustainable management of their activities, and who will encourage recognized standards such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We will also continue to work with independent experts," specified Mr. Sawyer.
By no longer selling threatened species, Metro hopes to help the recovery of fish stocks and the conservation of ocean diversity. The Company will report on regular basis on its commitment. Metro's sustainable fisheries policy is available at http://www.metro.ca/corpo/responsabilite/peche-durable-politique.en.html.
About Metro Inc.
With annual sales of over $11 billion and over 65,000 employees, Metro Inc. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, GP, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
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Director, Corporate Affairs
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