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Swiss retailer Migros to source only ASC-certified salmon; bass and bream are next

Nearly half of the retailer's total supply of farmed fish is now certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), sourcing exec tells IntraFish.

Migros, the biggest supermarket chain in Switzerland, is now exclusively sourcing salmon certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for its fresh fish counters, making the full range of their salmon products ASC-certified.

The switch happened on July 8, and includes not just branded products, but the retail giant’s own brand, M-Budget, as well, which carries smoked salmon.

The retailer is always looking to switch to certified products wherever possible, and salmon remains their most popular species, Migros Chief of Ecology Sandra Hinni told IntraFish. Farmed salmon makes up roughly a quarter of sales, followed by tuna, shrimp, pangasius and cod.

With the switch, Migros’ total amount of certified sustainable farmed fish will be nearly half. It is still trying to push that rate even higher, said Hinni. She said demand from Swiss consumers is very high.

“The recognition rates of sustainability labels like ASC and [Marine Stewardship council] by Swiss customers are among the highest worldwide.”

Migros will be evaluating its selection of seabass and seabream next, as soon as its current producer attains ASC certification.

ASC standards for seabass and seabream were released last year, and the first four farms to attain certification were announced in June.

“Whenever new species are available in certified quality by the ASC or the MSC, we check whether a switch to a certified source is feasible," she said.

"Wherever possible, we do. Particularly tricky for us are the wild-caught species like octopus and squid, which are not at all or not easily available in MSC quality. We are hoping that more MSC-certified fisheries for these species will be available in the near future.”

Migros has long prioritized sustainability certifications and has previously stated they were aiming for 100 percent sustainable seafood sources.

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