Fish & Seafood
All our seafood
IS RESPONSIBLY farmed
All our seafood is responsibly farmed and caught
This means we’re preserving fish stocks for future generations. As members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, we'll work only with fisheries and aquaculture farms that share our commitment to responsible sourcing and animal welfare.
Our commitment includes fresh fish, whether you buy it on the counter or prepacked, anything frozen and canned, and ingredients in ready meals, sandwiches and any other prepared food.
We’ve been working to these high standards for 15 years. You can find out more in our aquaculture strategy.
We’re champions of sustainable fishing
- In 2020 our fish counters were recognised as the best in the UK for the third year in a row by the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable fishing with its blue-fish label.
- We work only with well-managed fisheries and we never sell species that are threatened or endangered.
- We source only from approved farms that rear fish using high animal welfare standards, with respect for the environment.
- All our fish and seafood is traceable from catch to checkout, so we know who caught it – and where.
- The conditions on aquaculture farms must protect the health and wellbeing of our farmed fish as well as the environment. The feed must be sourced responsibly.
- All our own-label skipjack tuna is responsibly caught using pole-and-line methods, and we support the Greenpeace campaign to end the sale of tuna caught with the use of both fish aggregation devices and purse seining, which increases bycatch.
- Our Scottish salmon comes from carefully selected farms in the Shetland and Orkney Islands and Western Isles. Strong tidal flows keep seabeds clean and the fish lean and fit. The energy from the tide is harnessed to power the farms to minimise environmental impact.
Did you know?
Submerged cameras on salmon farms record when the fish are feeding. When the fish have had enough, the food supply stops, minimising waste and preventing it from polluting the seabed
Meet the fisher
Tommy Russell with a haul of shellfish in Poole Harbour
Fisherman Tommy Russell supplies Waitrose with clams and cockles, from the MSC-certified fishery of Poole Harbour in Dorset. “Ours is an amazing fishery – it’s the second largest natural harbour in the world and people have been fishing there since Roman times, perhaps even before,” he says.
“It’s mostly shallow water, almost landlocked, and it’s full of shellfish. The cockles we catch are native, but the clams were introduced by an oyster farmer, years ago, who only got permission because it was thought they couldn’t breed in our waters. Turns out they love it here!
‘The boats tow a basket behind them, limited to a certain size, and that scoops up the shellfish from the mud'
“We’re all small boats, five to seven metres long, powered by an outboard and mostly with just two crew. We’re allowed to fish between May and the day before Christmas Eve, six days a week, between 6am and 6pm, though we’d never actually be fishing for 12 hours – we can only fish when the tide’s in, so we’re only out for between four and seven hours.
"The boats tow a basket behind them, limited to a certain size, and that scoops up the shellfish from the mud. There’s a strict minimum gap between the bars and a water pump washes the smaller ones back through. We also avoid areas where the birds feed. It’s always been a very sustainable way of fishing, but getting the MSC certification and its blue-fish eco label on our shellfish has meant we’re able to prove that – it’s the gold standard and it’s been really important to us.
“When Waitrose said they wanted to stock our clams, that was a real lifesaver. More than that, it was a seal of approval – when your food is in Waitrose, that tells people it’s good.”
Our farmed fish is certified to standards set by third parties including the RSPCA, Global Gap, Global Aquaculture Alliance, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and organic standards. Wild fish are caught using standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
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Produce grown with care
All our UK fresh fruit and vegetables are grown to LEAF Marque standards.
How our pigs live
All our piglets are born outside and raised in the fresh air, and breeding sows live outdoors for their entire lives.
Chickens with more room to roam
They are all reared by British farmers, who share our commitment to high standards of animal welfare.