Axfood and WWF initiate collaboration for sustainable fish

Axfood and WWF have signed a cooperation agreement surrounding sustainable fishing. The aim is to improve the environmental situation at sea and as part of this to make sure that Axfood will meet its goal to sell sustainable fish products in the Willys, Hemköp and Axfood Snabbgross grocery chains. Above all the objective is to achieve the goal to sell only fish assigned a “green light” by WWF’s 2020 seafood guide.

Axfood has adhered to a fish policy since 2008 according to which the Group’s stores do not sell fish or shellfish that have been assigned a red light by WWF’s seafood guide. Since then, work has progressed on increasing the share of ecolabelled seafood. Hemköp’s fish counters are certified in accordance with the rules established by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Both Axfood and WWF have provided financial support for the development of methods and tools for Swedish harvesting of North Sea shrimp in an effort to increase the amount of ecolabelled Swedish shrimp.

Axfood now wants to take a further step and deepen its collaboration with WWF by investing in concrete projects to drive this development forward.

“We must work constantly and actively to develop the offering at our fish counters,” comments Åsa Domeij, Head of Environment and Social Responsibility at Axfood. “It is a matter of highlighting good alternatives, working with ecolabelling, communicating with customers and more. This requires constant knowledge-sharing, which is something we will gain with the help of WWF.”

Inger Näslund, Expert Fisheries and Marine at WWF, comments: “Everyone must do their share. Therefore, it feels very positive when a major player like Axfood is now willing to shift to a higher gear and make a greater contribution to creating a more sustainable offering of seafood products.”

Knowledge-sharing and competence development are needed to further drive development in a more sustainable direction. This applies for Axfood both centrally and at the Group’s stores. Through joint activities, awareness about the significance of sustainable fishing can be heightened.

The big challenge right now is obtain sufficient volumes of ASC-labelled Norwegian salmon (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) and to make this relatively new ecolabel more well-known. ASC-labelled fish receives an automatic green light.

Axfood’s work with its fish offering is part of the Group’s sustainability work.

For further information, please contact:
Åsa Domeij, Head of Environment and Social Responsibility, Axfood, tel. +46-73-077 43 07
Ingmar Kroon, Director Press Relations, Axfood, tel. +46-702-89 89 83
Inger Näslund, Expert Fisheries and Marine, WWF, tel. +46-70-105 30 57
Elin Bergman, Manager Corporate Partnerships WWF, tel. +46-73-966 23 4

Axfood AB conducts food retail and wholesale business in Sweden. Retail business is conducted through the wholly owned store chains Willys and Hemköp, comprising 254 stores in all. In addition, Axfood collaborates with a number of proprietor-run stores that are tied to Axfood through agreements. These include stores within the Hemköp as well as stores run under the Handlar’n and Tempo profiles. In all, Axfood collaborates with approximately 820 proprietor-run stores. Wholesaling is conducted through Dagab and Axfood Närlivs. Axfood is listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm AB's Large Cap list. Axel Johnson AB is the principal owner, with 50,1% of the shares.

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Axfood AB conducts retail trade through the wholly owned store chains Hemköp, Willys and Willys hemma and wholesale trade through Dagab and Axfood Närlivs. In addition, Axfood collaborates with a number of proprietor-run stores that are tied to Axfood through agreements.

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