M&S leaves competitors floundering with Forever Fish campaign

Marks and Spencer Forever FishHigh street retailers Marks & Spencer are once again leading the way in sustainable shopping with the launch of their new Forever Fish campaign.

Not content with opening flagship green stores and developing new environmental and community sites with the help of their industry leading carrier bag charge, they are now turning their attention to sustainable fishing.

The Forever Fish initiative aims to help customers and their children learn more about fish, clean our British beaches and protect UK marine life, and will be run in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). M&S have committed to a three-year plan, which will:
• establish the School of Fish educational project to inspire 400,000 school kids to learn about protecting fish
• encourage M&S customers and staff to help clean hundreds of British beaches
• spend more than £1 million in WWF initiatives to protect UK fish and marine species
• promote quality, sustainable fish purchases

Samantha Fanshawe, Director of MCS, said: “Working with M&S offers a fantastic opportunity to engage their customers and staff in positive action to protect our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS aims to inspire over 50,000 customers to become champions of the sea, and take action to reduce litter on our beaches, choose sustainable seafood and learn more about the amazing wildlife around our coast.“

The Forever Fish campaign is launching in M&S stores from 22 June 2011. It will be funded from the proceeds of the company’s 5p food carrier bag charge, which has already been used to launch the successful Greener Living Spaces project.

It’s all part of the wider M&S ‘Plan A’ programme, its environmental project aiming to make the organisation the world’s number one sustainable retailer by 2015.

M&S has also been promoting sustainable fishing for more than 10 years, with some 90% of the fish sold in-store already coming from Marine Stewardship Council certified sources.

“We will work together with our customers, our people and their children to promote a healthy future for our beaches, seas and fish,” said Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland. ”Forever Fish involves schools, charities, fishermen and fisheries so that we can all enjoy cleaner beaches, more sustainable fishing and healthy fish.”

No other retailer is doing this much for sustainable fishing, although it’s been encouraging to see the launch of Selfridges’ Project Ocean campaign. Hopefully, it will boost sensible, environmentally sound fishing policies and other retailers will follow suit.