Fish and Seafood Sustainability | Sourcing Sustainably | Mars Inc.
Fish & Seafood Sustainability

SOURCING SEAFOOD SUSTAINABLY

Seafood is an important part of the diet of many pets and people worldwide. At Mars, we’re committed to researching and implementing more and more sustainable practices for sourcing this valuable resource so that we can continue to offer our products that contain fish in a way that is healthy for people, pets and the environment.

As part of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, we’ve set a goal to get 100 percent of our fish and seafood from sustainable sources by 2020. According to our 2017 scorecard, we’re already more than halfway there, with 57 percent coming from sustainable sources.

SUSTAINABLE IN A GENERATION PLAN: FISH AND SEAFOOD TARGET

Our 2017-2018 Report tells us that 57 percent of our fish and seafood ingredients came from sustainable sources — a 14-percent increase from 43 percent in 2016. We’re using our 4R strategy to reduce, reward, respect and restore. Read on to find out more:

  • Reduce: We do not contribute to pressure on wild-caught fish and seafood production, especially vulnerable species.
  • Reward: We only source from suppliers that can demonstrate sustainable, responsible and traceable fish & seafood supply chains.
  • Respect: We are seeking to advance respect for human rights in our global fish and seafood supply chains - with a focus on Thailand first.
  • Restore: We are collaborating with global experts and local communities to actively restore critical marine ecosystems.
2020 TARGET: 100 PERCENT OF FISH AND SEAFOOD FROM SUSTAINABLE SOURCES
PROGRESS: 57 PERCENT FROM SUSTAINABLE SOURCES — ON TRACK
Isabelle Aelvoet

“We cannot create A Better World for Pets™ if the ingredients in the food pets love isn’t sourced responsibly. That’s why we want to make sure the seafood in WHISKAS® and our other pet food brands has no negative impact on the environment and society. As part of our commitment to sustainable fish, we’re only sourcing from suppliers with demonstrated sustainable, responsible and traceable fish & seafood supply chains, ensuring we don’t contribute to pressure on wild-caught fish & seafood production We’re also collaborating with global experts and local communities to actively restore critical marine ecosystems.”
— Isabelle Aelvoet, global sustainability director, Mars Petcare

STRIVING TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THAI FISHERIES

We recognize that our actions can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of many people and their pets. The Mars Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom are the foundation of our culture and our approach to business.

The Five Principles are the foundation of our Human Rights Policy, in which we commit to promote and respect human rights throughout our value chain in alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

In the first tier of our supply chain, we apply the Mars Supplier Code of Conduct and engage with our suppliers to address human rights issues in their workplaces. In our extended supply chains, where we often have less influence and visibility, we collaborate with industry, governments and civil society to advance respect for human rights.

One such complex extended supply chain is seafood — a source of protein in our foods for pets. We use fish from Thai fisheries in some of our cat food products. We are deeply concerned about the widely reported practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Southeast Asian waters.

As part of our commitment to sustainably sourced fish, we mapped our extended fish supply chain in the region, working with others in industry, NGOs and local community groups to better understand the nature and extent of human rights and environmental issues in Thai fish supply chains. We also worked with a NGO partner to gain greater visibility into the extended tiers of our supply chain, achieving 99% traceability. Based on what we learned, we created a Thai Fish Human Rights Action Plan an in 2016 to address the issues we found.

This effort includes extensive monitoring and engagement with our fish suppliers in Thailand. For example, we’ve been working with one of our tuna suppliers, Thai Union, to pilot a cloud-based electronic Catch Data and Traceability platform (eCDT) to collect information from fishing vessels at sea, including data on fair labor compliance. And to ensure we tackle the problem at its roots, we partnered with safety consulting and certification firm UL to deliver training sessions to our Tier 1 suppliers on migrant labor issues, traceability and best practices.

We will also continue our multi-stakeholder engagements on these complex issues. Since October 2015, we have been an active member of Seafood Task Force—a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together community groups, international NGOs and major global and national industry players in Thailand to take action to address human rights and environmental issues in the seafood industry. We are an active member of the Board since 2017.

We believe that as a principled global business we have a responsibility to contribute to the change that needs to be made for Southeast Asian fisheries to become safe and sustainable. We’re dedicated to sharing our commitments, successes and challenges in this effort as we strive to make a positive difference.

Learn more about our Thai Fish Supply Chain Human Rights Plan