Unilever is optimistic that 75% of its global fish supply will be from sustainable sources by next year.
Speaking at the Royal Institution’s Fabulous Fish event, Helen Lo, head of corporate responsibility, said Unilever had to ensure that the promotion of the health and nutritional benefits of fish was done in the light of the growing overfishing crisis.
“We are one of the world’s biggest fish buyers and Birds Eye is the UK’s biggest brand,” said Lo. “We have a responsibility to source sustainably.” Unilever could do so by balancing traditional supplies with different sources and varieties, she said.
Unilever is now sourcing cod from the Barents and Baring seas and is bringing in Alaskan pollock and Chilean hake.
Lo said consumers’ eating and purchasing habits could have an impact and Unilever was considering further ways of communicating the issue of sustainability on-pack.
It also aimed to make presentation more appealing.
“We should be far more creative and do a far better job with variety. We will work with retailers more closely,” she said.
“People become more adventurous with other foods when they return from holiday but for some reason they do not do this with fish. Consumers are not aware of sustainability when they are just going round the supermarket but once prompted they are extremely interested in the issue.”