SPAR Austria sells 100% sustainable fish

December 21, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Responsible retailing, Sourcing

In addition to other traditional dishes, fish often features on the Christmas menu in Austria. To ensure that all fish sold instore is sourced responsibly, SPAR Austria has been working closely with WWF since 2011.

WWF Austria assesses SPAR Austria’s entire fish range and suggests improvements on an annual basis. WWF Marine Biologist, Axel Hein, states “Only fish sourced from controlled fisheries, which protect stock levels, and fish derived through responsible breeding can reduce the environmental impact. Fish and seafood sourced from organic farming or domestic breeding are the only sustainable alternatives to controlled fishing.”

Sustainable Fish Alternatives at SPAR for Christmas

The best-selling fish during the festive period is salmon. SPAR Austria’s Natur*pur organic smoked salmon is sourced from an organic fish farm and assures consumers that strict rearing guidelines are followed, such as regulated stock density and feed from certified organic farms. For customers who do not want to do without wild sea fish at Christmas however, SPAR PREMIUM Skrei winter codfish is a good alternative. The white-fleshed fish comes from the north-eastern Arctic, from where it migrates to the Norwegian coast during the winter months. The SPAR PREMIUM Skrei winter codfish is only caught in winter with a longline or hand-held fishing line.

New in the SPAR fish range are the SPAR PREMIUM MSC pike-perch fillets. The fish are caught in the Canadian part of Lake Erie where fishing quotas are tightly controlled by the Canadian government to preserve stocks for the long term. Only the best pike-perch is put on ice, processed into fillets and deep-frozen to be sold in SPAR Austria stores.

Pioneer for the entire food trade

SPAR Austria has the most extensive range of responsibly sourced fish in the market and sets the standard for the rest of the Austrian food trade. In 2018, WWF’s evaluation of the fish range highlighted that all 120 SPAR Own Brand fish products were caught or bred responsibly. Of all 502 types of fish and seafood currently on offer across fresh, frozen, cooled, canned or processed products, 99% comes from responsible sources. “This is the best result since the introduction of the SPAR fish buying policy in 2011 and is due to the intensive cooperation between fisheries, WWF and the SPAR buying department. We are constantly monitoring fish stocks around the world, assessing fishing areas and methods, and recommending adjustments to the range, “says Axel Hein from WWF.

Contribution to the UN Sustainability Programme

In 2015, the UN defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to support global development. One of these development goals supports concerns around ocean life and aims to effectively regulate fishing by 2020 through focusing on overfishing, illegal fishing, and harmful fishing practices. SPAR Austria’s commitment to a responsible fish assortment is a solid contribution to these internationally recognised goals. For more information on SPAR Austria’s purchasing policy, please visit

Read more about the success of SPAR Austria’s fish sourcing strategy here: 

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954 and the current SPAR AG was created in 1970, when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

SPAR Austria’s gross retail sales growth reached 6.7 billion euro in 2017 from 1,566 stores including 757 operated by independent retailers. SPAR Austria is the largest private training organisation for young apprentices in their market.

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