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.

“With growing demand for fish protein in both local and international markets, we have turned our sights to acquisitions in aquaculture. Aquaculture’s rapid growth outpaces that of any other major food production sector. With new technologies emerging, good potential for jobs and significant opportunities for economic inclusion in the value chain, this investment aligns well with our drive towards shared value.” Imraan Soomra, chief executive officer

In 2019, 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, 80% 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. This year, horse mackerel and pilchard both retained orange listing. We continue to engage with industry bodies, government officials and other stakeholders in efforts to improve the sustainability of these resources, including through participating in the development of the WWF-SA/DAFF Horse Mackerel Conservation Improvement Project. West Coast rock lobster (WCRL) remains in the red category, reflecting concerns regarding the decline in the health of the population and the impact of poaching and ecosystem decline. We are supporting efforts to find an appropriate long-term solution that balances the need to protect the biomass with the desire to promote small-scale fishers.

Our hake operation retained its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chain of custody certification, considered the world’s most rigorous eco-labelling initiative for fishing. This year, our five fishmeal operations once again retained their certification in terms of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil organisation (IFFO) Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO-RS).

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.