Aldi fish aisle

The discounter added 11 certified products between 2017 and 2018 to take it to the top of the table

Aldi has overtaken Sainsbury’s as the most sustainable supermarket for seafood, according to MSC league tables released today.

Though Sainsbury’s remained top of the NGO’s table in terms of the volume of MSC-certified products, the percentage of Aldi’s seafood range that was MSC certified rose from 69% last year to 79%. Some 76% of Sainsbury’s range was MSC certified.

The discounter’s smaller range meant the addition of 11 certified products took it to the top of the table, with a total of 85 MSC-approved seafood SKUs.

Nine of the 10 supermarkets surveyed by the MSC were stocking more MSC-certified SKUs than in 2017, the survey found, with Asda and Tesco the fastest-growing (adding 35 and 33 certified products to their ranges respectively). Iceland was not surveyed by the MSC in 2017, but came bottom of the table in 2018’s rankings, with just one product, equivalent to 3% of its fish range.

Morrisons remained near the bottom of the table with 4% of its fish products carrying the MSC logo, though it added five certified products. Sainsbury’s added the fewest new products, extending its certified product range by one to 226 from 2017 to 2018.

“Our approach is to provide our customers with fresh, sustainably sourced fish and this is reflected in the MSC’s findings,” said Aldi MD of buying Julie Ashfield. “Customers know that shopping at Aldi means they can enjoy quality, responsibly sourced products, at affordable prices.”

It follows a move by Aldi to launch a responsibly sourced assurance scheme for own-label fish in November. Its Love Fish signage would appear on products sourced in accordance with a “range of standards including MSC and ASC certification,” it told The Grocer last year.

Overall, British supermarkets were selling more sustainable seafood than ever before, with offerings increasing 60% since 2016, said the MSC. More than 20,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC blue tick label.

“The majority of British supermarkets are making a real investment in the future of their seafood,” said MSC programme director Toby Middleton.

“Consumers are not powerless in making sustainable choices. Our league table shows that retailers are offering their customers clear labelling and the chance to make a difference, helping to protect fish stocks for our children and our grandchildren.”