Seafood products are a source of protein in our foods for cats and fish. More importantly, it is the main source of protein for about one billion people worldwide. Overfishing has led to a serious decline in many stocks, threatening availability and creating competition for the remaining resources.
As one of the world’s leading pet care companies, we have an opportunity to take the lead in sourcing fish in ways that do not threaten stocks. We have pledged to source all fish globally from sustainable sources by 2020 — a pet food industry first. We are still assessing how we will achieve our target, but have introduced the following principles:
We will only use fish from wild stocks that are not threatened, or are responsibly farmed.
We will replace all wild whole fish and fish fillets with fish by-products and responsibly-farmed seafood products.
We will develop and use alternatives to marine fish ingredients.
Working with our suppliers and external agencies, our regions are exploring different ways of implementing these principles, using seafood more efficiently and avoiding competition with the human food chain.
In Europe, we are assuring consumers that our brands contain responsibly sourced seafood using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. A selection of SHEBA® and WHISKAS® cat food varieties in Europe has carried the MSC logo since January 2011. To achieve this, the factories producing these brands must also receive MSC approval. Our facilities in Gargzdai, Lithuania; and Verden, Germany are certified to the MSC standard.
In the U.S., we are working toward our target by following the sourcing recommendations set by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program for three varieties of SHEBA® cat food. This means that all the fish used in these varieties, including pacific albacore tuna, are responsibly farmed or sourced from abundant, well-managed and responsibly-caught wild stocks.