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AEON’s Unprecedented Move to Market MSC Certified Scallop in Japan

March 10, 2014

AEON Co., Ltd. kicked off sales of MSC certified Hokkaido scallops at its 348 AEON stores in Hokkaido, Shikoku, and the mainland Japan (Honshu) on March 6. It was the first attempt to market MSC labeled Hokkaido scallops in Japan.

The following dignitaries attended an announcement ceremony held March 6 at the AEON Shinagawa Seaside store: AEON Retail Director/Executive Operating Officer Mitsuko Tsuchiya, MSC Japan Office Program Director Kozo Ishii, WWF Japan Conservation Office Head Sadayoshi Tobai, scallop supplier Aomori Chuo Suisan Managing Director Yasushi Ikeda, and Kanekishi Sawada Suisan Director of the General Affair Division Shunichi Sawada.

“Marketing MSC certified items is an important tool to pass Japanese traditional fish diet on to future generations. In addition to considerations for environment and natural resources, MSC products give thoughts to tastiness, as well. In order to keep offering safe, sustainable seafood to our customers, AEON will aggressively continue to sell eco-labeled products,” Ms. Tsuchiya said.

“I would like more people to learn about the meaning of the MSC ecolabel and its undertaking to conserve the marine environment and resources through this announcement event,” Mr. Ishii from MSC Japan said.

AEON sells boiled scallops harvested at the Funka Bay and the Sea of Okhotsk (100g for JPY 198 incld. tax). Along with boiled scallops, whole scallops with shells and scallop abductor muscles were displayed at the Shinagawa Seaside store. More products will be gradually added to other stores’ item list.

Ms. Tsuchiya made an appeal by saying “Select sweet and soft scallops from the Funka Bay or nicely lean and firm ones from the Sea of Okhotsk, depending on your recipes.” With the help of House Foods Corp., Hokkaido Stew made from scallops from Hokkaido was sampled.

AEON Constitutes Seafood Procurement Policy

AEON constituted the AEON Sustainable Procurement Principles in Feb. 2014 and came up with the Seafood Procurement Policy, which takes account of environment and resources. The Company’s vigorous approach to eco-labeled products is part of the policy.

The Policy includes vigorous marketing activities of eco-labeled products, establishment of traceability, discontinuance of European eel whose transaction has been restricted due to its endangered species status decided by the Washington Convention and such.

AEON began selling MSC certified merchandises in 2006. Including the scallops, there is a total of 16 items from 14 different marine species, the largest scale handled by a retailer in Japan.

Image 1: MSC certified scallop for sale
Image 2: (from left) Mr. Tobai, Mr. Ishii, Ms. Tsuchiya,
and mascot of Oshamanbe, Hokkaido, "Manben-kun"

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