As one of our country's largest supermarkets, Coles has considerable influence. The company operates more than 2,300 outlets, employs over 100,000 people. Its decisions around sustainability, therefore have a huge impact.
Coles proudly recognises its corporate responsibility and is working with WWF towards a sustainable future. The company became the first retailer to partner with us in 2011 and signed the WWF Global Seafood Charter that year. Since then we have collaborated to improve the sustainability of Coles’ seafood supply chains.
Coles has moved its product towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications and took the pioneering step to become the first national supermarket in Australia to introduce labelled MSC- and ASC-certified seafood in its seafood counters. This means Coles customers can easily choose certified seafood in whichever department they are shopping. Their Responsibly Sourced seafood program covers the whole Coles Brand seafood range in canned, fresh and frozen.
WWF is now assessing Coles' entire food range using Supply Risk Analysis methodology that identifies major environmental and social impacts and risks.
Our partnership initially focused on teaming with Coles' suppliers and fisheries to understand the sustainability of the seafood Coles sells and to recommend improvements. But it has achieved so much more. This initial assessment saw us working cooperatively with those suppliers and fisheries to source product responsibly and has driven significant improvements to fisheries management. Now Coles’ wider responsibly sourced program means they have independently assessed hundreds of wild-caught and farmed seafood products.
Not only has the sustainability of Coles' seafood greatly improved, it continues to improve and to inspire others. And as Coles and WWF extend this work to cover the rest of Coles' Brand food supply chain, the more of its food will be identifiable as sustainable.
Coles realises that conservation is a complex issue that affects us all. The company supports a number of projects far beyond its own business operations, including collaborating with the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) on its Fishery Improvement Project, becoming a part of the Northern Territory Government’s Indigenous Fisheries Mentor project, and joining efforts to reduce the incidental capture of turtles and sharks in the Coral and Solomon seas.
The Bottom Line
The environmental impact of the food we eat is as big as our appetites.
As one of our two largest supermarkets, Coles is having a significant positive impact on our oceans by choosing where it sources its wild-caught and farmed seafood. Working with its suppliers, Coles is helping to maintain sustainable fresh seafood supplies. It is also playing an important role in reducing ocean pollution and the number of endangered marine species caught by accident in nets.
PROJECTS SUPPORTED BY COLES