Sustainable use policy

Sustainable fish supply and sustainability policy

Grupo Consorcio advocates an ethical, responsible and sustainable business. We have a clear, firm commitment to the sustainability of marine resources for future generations, endeavouring to reduce our ecological footprint to a minimum and making use of all the opportunities we can provide in the environmental and social sphere.

Main principles

Grupo Consorcio’s main principles are as follows:

Fish should be supplied responsibly, to ensure the conservation and management of marine resources. 

These resources should be used so that they reach consumers safely and with as little processing waste as possible, in order to minimise the negative effect on the environment.

Support of the creation and conservation of marine resources

Transparency on buying and processing. Abstaining from buying over exploited species and/or from over-exploited areas. 

Abstaining from purchasing supplies from illegal companies and/or vessels that have been prosecuted for illicit activities.

Avoiding supplies produced by non-selective fishing methods that involve discarding other species and/or have with a high proportion of incidental capture. 

We develop these principles through the following lines of action:

1. Responsibility

Grupo Consorcio believes that fish should be supplied responsibly in order to ensure the conservation and effective management of live marine resources. 

The catches used as raw material for all Consorcio Brand products must enable the quality, diversity and availability of fishery resources to be sufficiently maintained for the present and future generations, within the context of food security, poverty relief and sustainable development. Management measures should not merely ensure the conservation of the target species. 

We are therefore strongly in favour of management measures geared to the conservation of fishery resources and the marine ecosystem. We also contribute to improving the scientific information available on fishery resources, supporting the application of science to fishery products. 

With this purpose in mind, Grupo Consorcio will abstain from buying over-exploited species that are not subject to recovery plans decided on by the RFMOs for returning the population to a healthy state as quickly as possible. Encourage application of management measures to ensure that the fishing effort is proportional to the fishery resources’ production capacity and sustainable use. We will also abstain from buying species from boats that feature on any official list of vessels presumed to have carried out Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Activities (IUU fishing). Compliance with responsible fishing practice will be the basis for our supplier relations. 

Grupo Consorcio is particularly aware of the practice of shark finning. This practice endangers numerous shark populations, the stability of the marine ecosystems and the traditional sustainable fisheries. We therefore abstain from buying from vessels that show indications or evidence of the practice of shark finning and abstain from conducting business with any companies that have not prohibited and condemned shark finning.

Grupo Consorcio is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for manufacturing certain products for both the domestic market and export.

2. Use of resources 

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Grupo Consorcio undertakes to safeguard consumer interests; it advocates the capture, handling, processing and distribution of the fish and fishery products in such a way as to maintain their nutritional value, quality and safety, reducing waste and minimising the negative effects on the environment. 

With this goal in mind, projects have been carried out to minimise the impact of its industrial activity on the environment:

  • Turning fish waste into fish meal and oils.
  • Recovery and recycling of cooking water.
  • Reducing metal consumption by making lighter packaging.
  • Using less water and oil.
  • Efficient management of processing waste for recycling (cardboard, packaging, oil, pallets).

Grupo Consorcio holds the globally recognised BRC and IFS food safety certification for ensuring the safety of fishery products.

3. Transparency

Grupo Consorcio ensures transparency in all the fishery management mechanisms forming part of its buying and processing procedures.

It is aware that the long-term sustainable use of fishery resources is the ultimate aim of all parts of the supply and production chain, and it therefore urges the States and regional fishery management organisations to take suitable measures (always based on the most reliable scientific data available) to maintain the populations or restore them to levels that can produce the highest sustainable yield, in accordance with the relevant environmental and economic factors, including the special requirements of the developing States.

These measures must lead to the following, among other aspects:

  • preventing excess fishing capacity and ensuring that the exploitation of populations continues to be economically viable;
  • the fishing industries working under economic conditions that encourage responsible fishing;
  • the fishermen’s interests being taken into account, including those of the fishermen who practice subsistence, non-industrial and small-scale fishing;
  • adequate working conditions being guaranteed for employees;
  • preservation of the biodiversity of the aquatic habitats and ecosystems and protection of endangered species;
  • allowing depleted populations to recover, or taking active measures to restore them where the case may be;
  • assessment of the negative environmental impact of human activity on the resources, remedying it where the case may be;
  • Minimization of pollution, waste, discards, capture with lost or abandoned fishing gear, capture of non-target species (fish and other species) and the effects on associated or dependent species, taking measures such as the perfection and use of selective fishing gear and techniques that are profitable and safe for the environment.

Within this context, for the specific case of tuna, Grupo Consorcio abstains from buying tuna from:

- Over-exploited areas or areas where the sustainability of the stock is endangered (in accordance with the stock assessment established by each RFMO).

- Populations threatened by an excessive fishing effort (stocks with a high risk of recently documented fishing levels causing population depletion, now or in the short or medium term, or where the bodies tasked with fishery management are unable to prevent a drop in the population by setting current fishing quotas that do not obey scientific recommendations).

- Fishing activities using non-selective fishing methods resulting in discards of 20% or more (by weight) of catches of fish or cephalopods (unwanted by-catches thrown directly back into the sea).

- Fishing activities using non-selective fishing methods that involve by-catches of immature specimens or non-commercial species representing 20% or more of the landed captures.

- Fishing activities in areas where there is evidence of poisons and/or explosives being used for fishing.

- Fishing activities producing negative impacts on the populations of any non-listed species classified as vulnerable, endangered, at critical risk of extinction or protected by national and international conservation lists, and also any species subject to a moratorium (fishing with an impact on an endangered species).

- Fishing activities where the captures cannot guarantee the traceability of the fish in accordance with the relevant European and national legislation: place and date of capture, name of boat and licence, boat ownership, place of landing, identification of merchant vessels, identification of containers, date and place of final landing.

- Fishing vessels and/or operators (or owners) featuring on the List of IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing vessels or that have been prosecuted for illegal activities.

- Fishing activities taking place in areas for which there are no management and conservation measures developed by regional fisheries management organisations or other agreements, or with listed tuna species for which there are no such measures or agreements.

- Catches that have been trans-shipped at sea, unless 100% of the catch has been inspected by independent observers, or trans-shipped at sea in areas where such practices are prohibited by law.

Grupo Consorcio only buys tuna from the EC tuna fleet that fishes in seas subject to and rigorously complying with the rules of the different Regional Fisheries Organisations. Sustainable fishing is thus ensured, using measures guaranteeing conservation of the stock (e.g. fishing bans) and respecting the protected Marine Reserves and areas temporarily closed for spawning and growth.

Grupo Consorcio expects its suppliers (and their parent companies and subsidiaries) to apply the practices included in this policy, considering this to be vital for maintaining a stable long-term business relationship with them, and consequently:

- The suppliers will be asked to comply with the management regulations adopted by the RFMOs, including those concerning the use of FADs, and they are urged to take a proactive attitude with regard to the RFMOs and use systems to minimise their negative impact.

- The suppliers will be asked to use more selective fishing gear to avoid catching juveniles and non-target species.

- In order to encourage adequate, sustainable tuna fishing, Grupo Consorcio is aware that no static targets can be set and that it is rather a question of forming part of a dynamic process of continuous improvement. An annual meeting will therefore be held with each supplier concerned to ensure their compliance with the policies included in this document, and, specifically, formulas will be sought to:

- Continue improving tuna fishing sustainability
- Improve the social equity of tuna fishing processes.

Grupo Consorcio is creating an information system, which will be available from February 2016, to publicly inform of the traceability of its items and as an essential element in our relationship with our consumers, enabling them to easily, quickly and directly find the data on the species caught, the date and area of capture and the fishing method used, also indicating the degree of exploitation in this area, in accordance with the ISSF indicators.

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4. Good Practice

Grupo Consorcio will select supplier vessels whose activities do not jeopardise the effectiveness of the conservation and management measures taken in accordance with international law and adopted at a national, sub-regional, regional or global level. Grupo Consorcio will abstain from purchasing any vessels that are not authorised in accordance with international law for use at sea or in accordance with national legislation within the areas of national jurisdiction. 

Grupo Consorcio is in favour of examining the properties of all the existing fishing gear, methods and practices and measures should be taken to gradually eliminate any fishing gear, methods or practices that are not compatible with responsible fishing, replacing them by other, more suitable, techniques. Grupo Consorcio will abstain from buying fish caught using fishing practices such as the use of poisons or explosives or any others with similarly destructive effects.

Grupo Consorcio undertakes to acquire fishery products in accordance with well-grounded conservation and management practices, improving the identification of the origin of the fish and the commercial fishing products acquired.

Grupo Consorcio is an active member of Sedex and regularly carries out ethical audits aimed at making a thorough formal analysis of the procedures used at its work centres.

Scope and validity

This Sustainable Fish Supply Policy has been mandatory for Grupo Consorcio and its suppliers since 1/01/2014, notwithstanding updates, and it is applicable to the entire supply chain. The suppliers concerned will be notified of each update made, and the updates will be posted on Grupo Consorcio’s website.

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Grupo Consorcio’s products can be found in over 40 countries. We are proud to export to new territories to show off the quality of our products to the entire world. This is not vanity, this is based on the conviction of a job well done over many years.

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