Friend of the Sea Awards Italy’s Generale Conserve for its Tuna Zero Waste Project

Friend of the Sea awarded Generale Conserve, one of Italy’s major canned seafood company, with the Sodalitas Social Award 15th edition in the category Sustainable Innovation and Production Processes with its brand ASdoMAR for Tuna Zero Waste project.

Friend of the Sea welcomes this prestigious recognition, as ASdoMAR was the first Italian brand in the industry to require an independent certification body’s audit about the sustainable sourcing of its fish supplies. For almost a decade, ASdoMAR tuna and mackerel have carried the Friend of the Sea eco-label. Its salmon products have also been certified Friend of the Sea since 2012. Ensuring its product’s sustainable origin, Generale Conserve has shown great care and respect for the environment and its final customers. ASdoMAR is a 100% sustainable fishing company.

Generale Conserve is the second largest producer of canned fish on the Italian market, with a market share of about 17%, and the leading company for production using whole tuna. Established at the end of the 1980s as a distribution company, in just over ten years, the company grew from a small entity, with a turnover of 20 million euros in 2001, to a producer whose 2015 turnover amounted to 187 million euros, generated almost entirely through sales in the Italian market. Between 2008 and 2011, Generale Conserve revived historic heritage traditions that faced a risk of disappearing. The company provided continuity to the artisanal processing tradition of mackerel in the Vila do Conde plant in Portugal and inaugurated a new plant in Olbia, the most modern in Europe, giving a future to the tuna processing tradition in Sardinia.

Furthermore, skipjack and yellow-fin tuna, the two tuna species used in ASdoMAR products and fish meal originating from tuna trimmings, have been confirmed compliant with all Friend of the Sea’s strict sustainability requirements since 2014, as documented during its visit to the company processing plant in Olbia, located in Sardinia, Italy. By requesting trimmings to be subjected to audit, the Italian producer has now joined the list of international big companies that in recent years have obtained the certification of Friend of the Sea for fishmeal, e.g., the Peruvian Austral Group and the Moroccan Sovapec.

According to Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea, “Reaching sustainability of the entire production process, from fishery to manufacturing, is a goal all companies should set as a priority. In this sense, Generale Conserve with ASdoMAR is the demonstration that sustainability is not an option, but the only choice consumers praise by giving back their endurable trust.”

Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 600 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainable origin of their seafood. Accredited independent certification bodies run audits, based on the best and the most updated available scientific data. Recently the program has expanded to the certification of sustainable shipping, ornamental fish, and whale watching operators.

Paolo Bray during an FOS visit to Generale Conserve plant in Olbia, Sardinia.

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