Food security remains a major global challenge that is expected to escalate following climate change, population growth and increased food prices. While food security has increased in almost every region of the world, 92% of the 28 assessed sub-Saharan African countries lie in the bottom half of global food security rankings.

(Global Food Security Index 2016)

The global population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050. With a rapidly growing middle class in emerging economies, this will mean increased global pressure on the production and distribution of food. This presents both risks and opportunities. In southern Africa, the drought caused by the El Niño effect in 2015 was more severe than predicted. Drought is a major factor in the cost of land-produced food and competing proteins, such as chicken and processed meats, which experience cost-price inflation above canned Pilchards. To assist in meeting local demand, Oceana increased its local production capacity of canned Pilchards, importing additional product for canning locally.

We feed over three million people a day with canned fish.

1.4 million horse mackerel meals consumed per day in Africa.

“Being generally low in saturated fats, carbohydrates and cholesterol, fish provides high-value protein and various essential micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. We believe that the provision of a low-cost, low-carbon and healthy source of protein has an important role to play in addressing food security among low income populations globally, and offers significant opportunities for sustained value creation.” Francois Kuttel, chief executive officer

In 2016, we focused delivering value in terms of three societal goals linked to food security and marine resources:

Responsible fishing practices

Sustainable seafood

Responding to environmental pressures

Responsible fishing practices

Oceana promotes responsible fishing practices across the supply chain and supports an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Our approach depends on working together with local, national and international partners. Our operations comply with all government regulations, in particular those relating to responsible fishing practices, and regulations and permit conditions are entrenched across the various business units. We take a zero tolerance approach to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

We promote an ecosystems approach to fishing (EAF). Oceana is considered the industry leader in terms of the number of seafaring employees trained on responsible fishing practices and EAF. In collaboration with the Responsible Fisheries Alliance, we have trained almost 390 seafaring employees since 2011, accounting for 54% of all such employees.

Read more in our sustainable development report.

Sustainable seafood

In South Africa, 89% of our harvested commercial fishing rights are on the Green list of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative. These species have been assessed as the most sustainable choices, coming from the healthiest and most well-managed fish populations. In 2017, the Horse Mackerel was added to the Orange list, and this year Pilchards were added to the Orange list due to uncertainties regarding the health of both stocks.

Following recent re-assessments, the West Coast rock lobster (WCRL) has been added to the Red list, owing to concerns in the decline in the health of the WCRL population and the impact of poaching and ecosystem decline. We support efforts to find an appropriate long-term solution that balances the need to protect the biomass with the desire to promote small-scale fishers. Through a joint partnership, WWF-SA and DAFF have committed to developing a fisheries conservation project with key stakeholders to rebuild the stock and address the causes of its decline. This initiative includes programmes that address poaching and training in conservation, and promote multi-stakeholder engagement.

As a key commercial quota holder and member of the sector association, we recognise the influential role we can play in this recovery plan and are committed to supporting the WWF and fishery conservation. This year, our Hake operation once again retained its Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody certification, considered the world’s most rigorous eco-labelling initiative for fishing. Our five fishmeal operations also retained their certification in terms of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization Global Standard for Responsible Supply.

Read more in our sustainable development report.

Responding to environmental pressures

Environmental pressures influence our business in terms of both the production and consumption of our products. The actual impact of ocean variables and changing weather conditions over the long term is difficult to determine, and the group adopts a precautionary approach to managing these influences.

Precautionary measures include:

  • the inclusion of climate change impacts in divisional and functional risk registers;
  • participating in initiatives aimed at better understanding resource availability and distribution;
  • developing a sector strategy and engaging with our competitors, via the RFA, to manage potential impacts;
  • monitoring resource availability, patterns and trend analysis; and
  • geographical diversification of our rights and associated resources.