LONDON — Mars Pet Nutrition has met its latest environmentally friendly goal on June 7 of sustainably sourcing all fish used in its pet food products within Europe. According to Mars, sustainable fishing is just one part of its global sustainability commitment and its $1 billion Sustainable in a Generation Plan initiative.
Brands that now feature sustainably sourced fish include Sheba®, Whiskas®, Pedigree®, Cesar®, Perfect Fit®, Dreamies®, Crave™, James Wellbeloved™, Chappie® and Kitekat®.
“At Mars Petcare, everything we do is focused on our purpose: a better world for pets – and a better world is a more sustainable world, for pets, people and the planet,” said Deri Watkins, regional president at Mars Pet Nutrition Europe. “Mars Pet Nutrition uses fish in its portfolio of pet food products as it enables pets to enjoy nutritionally balanced, healthy, and high-quality pet food. While our business accounts for a small share of the global seafood market, we continue to play our part in supporting a healthy future for ocean ecosystems and the seafood sector helping all to grow and thrive in a responsible way.”
To achieve sustainable fish sourcing, Mars ensures that its fish suppliers follow the Mars Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes social, environmental and ethical expectations for suppliers. The company’s sustainable fishing program involves sourcing fish from fisheries that strive to maintain biodiversity and are certified or endorsed by third parties. Mars also works with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to ensure the viability of endangered fish species, following the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of threatened species.
“Mars has been instrumental in the seafood sustainability movement as one of the first WWF partners to commit to more sustainable pet food supply chain,” said Michael Griff, director for ocean markets at WWF. “We are thrilled to see the progress Mars Petcare has achieved in its journey to ensure better sourcing practices across its global operations. We will continue to work together to reduce pressure on our oceans and preserve its resources for resilient ecosystems and prosperous coastal communities.”
Mars also announced on June 8 that 96% of its fish used in all its pet products globally is sourced from sustainable suppliers, up from 81% in 2021.
“We’re proud that our procurement teams are sourcing more sustainably sourced fish — this work delivers on our commitments and benefits the planet and its pets,” said Paul Gardner, chief procurement officer of Mars Petcare. “We will continue to strengthen our efforts and invest in sustainable fisheries together with our partner WWF in the years to come.”
To ramp up its sustainable fishing efforts, as Mars hopes to achieve 100% sustainable fish sourcing within the coming years with support from WWF and fisheries experts, continuously revising its guidelines to better align with international standards and creating a more sustainable fish supply chain.
As well as bettering its own supply chain, Mars has also partnered with WWF to help fund improvements of global fisheries. The company’s Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) involve multiple stakeholders throughout the supply chain, implementing plans to improve fishing practices and management. Mars is also aiding WWF by creating consistent sources of funding for large-scale and long-term global fisheries reformation projects.
“Mars has been instrumental in the seafood sustainability movement as one of the first WWF partners to commit to more sustainable pet food supply chain,” said Caroline Tippett, vice president for ocean markets and finance at WWF. “We are thrilled to see the progress Mars Petcare has achieved in its journey to ensure better sourcing practices across its global operations. We will continue to work together to reduce pressure on our oceans and preserve its resources for resilient ecosystems and prosperous coastal communities”
Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat industry.