Lidl US Commits to Sustainable Seafood Sourcing Policy

In advance of opening its first stores in the United States on June 15, the Lidl discount grocery chain has announced that all seafood sold in the outlets will be sustainably sourced from suppliers around the world.

“Our entire everyday fresh and frozen seafood assortment will be certified sustainable,” said Boudewijn Tiktak, chief commercial officer of Arlington, Virginia-headquartered Lidl US. “We are proud to work closely with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in this step to ensure suppliers meet our high-quality standards.”

LidlUSExterior 300Pleased with the announcement, Brian Perkins, MSC’s regional director for the Americas, commented: “Lidl’s commitment to certified sustainable sourcing will indeed set a new standard in the US market. When people purchase MSC certified seafood, their choice supports fishermen around the world who are working hard to meet the world’s most rigorous standard for environmental sustainability of wild capture fishing.”

“This is a tremendous step by Lidl to ensure that its entire core assortment of fresh and frozen seafood is third-party certified,” said Chris Keller, director of North American market development for the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s BAP division. “This important commitment helps address issues such as disease, antibiotic use and social welfare in the supply chain. Lidl clearly sees how this is the next frontier in responsible and sustainable sourcing.”

Also applauding Lidl’s action was ASC Commercial Director Esther Luiten, who stated: “They are important partners and are critical to helping us reward and recognize those farms that meet best practices. Their commitment pledge will also help us bring even more farms into our fast-growing program. Importantly, Lidl has upended the idea that seafood from farms certified to the best social and environmental standards, such as the ASC, has to come at a premium price. Consumers can have confidence that Lidl shares their values for seafood produced in the best possible manner."

Headquartered in Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Lidl operates approximately 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe. It plans to open 20 or more units in Virginia, North and South Carolina and Maryland this summer, and establish upwards of 100 outlets in the Unites States within a year.

Lidl private label products will reportedly account for about 90% of SKUs in the 20,000-square-foot stores, which will have only six shopping aisles.