Continente markets sustainable origin fish in its fishmongers

First retailer in Portugal to receive MSC and ASC certification.

Continente is the first Portuguese retailer to certify its fishmongers according to the Chain of Custody Standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a non-profit environmental organization whose sustainable fishing standard is recognized worldwide. The brand will sell fresh and frozen fish in bulk from sustainable fisheries in all Continente stores’ fishmongers.

The MSC’s Chain of Custody Standard guarantees the traceability of products from sustainable fisheries with MSC certification and aquaculture farms with ASC certification, from their origin to the final consumer.

With the certification of the 41 fishmongers in its hypermarkets, Sonae MC offers its consumers, from the coming weeks, the guarantee that the fish presented with the MSC or ASC seal is traceable and comes from sustainable fishery or responsible aquaculture.

This certificate includes species such as MSC Cape hake and red-fish for bulk frozen fish counters and ASC salmon for fresh fish counters. Still in the fresh fish section you can find the famous special dry cod from Norway cured with fleur de sel.

The certification of Continente fishmongers covers the 41 Continente hypermarkets, 3 logistics platforms (responsible for the reception and distribution of fish), as well as the training of more than 1000 employees and teams in the group's fresh products and logistics sections.

The retailer's commitment to the sustainability of fishery products has been noted in Continente’s private label offer, in which, throughout 2020, most products were approved. The certification of more than 20 of Continente’s private label’s references with the MSC’s blue seal is foreseen in the group's stores – a result of the work done by the food retail chain with its suppliers, who share the vision of sustainable fishing.

The Sonae MC group’s MSC and ASC certification reinforces the commitment of the Portuguese food giant to sustainability in the oceans, not only to raise awareness among consumers, but also to the entire fish industry, reinforcing the importance of respecting the state of the population of the target species, the marine ecosystem and recognizing and rewarding a sustainable management of marine resources.

Carla Santos, Director of the Fishmonger Business Unit at Sonae MC
“Increasingly, customers want to be informed about what they eat, namely the origin of the products. In the case of fish, this has been our concern for several years, regardless of consumer requirements. In 2010, Sonae MC was the first food retail group in Portugal to adopt a fish sustainability policy, becoming a reference when it took the leading position among the entire national distribution regarding this concern. We have established principles for the protection of fish species and stocks along its value chain and we are committed to continuing to do so. ”

Laura Rodríguez, Director of the MSC Program in Spain and Portugal
“Portugal is an oceanic nation where fish is a central part of its culture and cuisine. In order for fish to continue to be available in the future, it is essential to ensure that it comes from sustainable sources. The certification of the Sonae MC group helps Portuguese consumers to recognize and choose traceable fish of sustainable origin. We congratulate Sonae MC for being a pioneer in the MSC certification of its fishmongers and bulk frozen counters in Portugal and we thank the entire team that led the project, its implementation and professionalism”.

Marcos Moya, Commercial Manager of the ASC’s Portugal, Spain and North America program
“We applaud Sonae MC's sustainability effort and commitment, setting an example and paving the way for an offer of marine products that are not only fresh and of quality, but also sustainable. We hope that many others can follow this example and that we can all collaborate for a more sustainable country”.

Sonae MC
Sonae MC is the leader in the food retail market in Portugal, with a set of different establishments with more than 500 points of sale with a varied offer of superior quality products at the best prices: Continente (hypermarkets), Continente Modelo and Continente Bom Dia (supermarkets), Meu Super (franchised proximity stores), Bom Bocado, Bagga (pastry shops and restaurants), Go Natural (supermarkets and healthy restaurants), Make Notes, ¡Note! (bookstore, stationery), ZU (pet products and services), Well’s (health, wellness and optics) and Dr. Well’s (dentistry and aesthetic medicine clinics). It also has real estate management services for commercial assets.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization. Our vision contemplates that all oceans continue to be full of life and that marine resources are protected for this generation and for generations to come. Through our blue seal of sustainable fishing and our certification program, we recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices, in addition to helping create a more sustainable market for seafood products.

A product bearing the MSC blue seal:

• comes from fisheries certified according to the MSC fishing standard - a scientific indicator for sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing.

• is of sustainable origin with guaranteed traceability.

Currently, more than 395 fishing companies from more than 36 countries have been certified according to the MSC fisheries standard and more than 41,000 fishery products bear the MSC blue seal worldwide.

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