Why this is important

Food security presents a global challenge. With the population expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, and with a rapidly growing middle class in emerging economies such as China and India, there will be increasing pressure globally on the production and distribution of food. Sustainable marine resources are a fundamental renewable source of healthy food for large parts of the world’s population.

Fish provides high-value protein as well as various essential micronutrients and remains the cheapest form of animal protein, with canned fish typically sold at a lower cost compared to other fish products. As a significant producer of this affordable, low-footprint, healthy source of protein to lower-income consumers in South Africa and other African countries, we believe that we play an important role in contributing towards food security. In South Africa, marine resources are identified in the National Development Plan as a key driver to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in the country by 2030.

Material issues

  • Promoting sustainable marine resource management
  • Compliance with government expectations
  • Addressing the challenge of food security

Headlines

  • Significant contributor to food security with a growing protein footprint in Africa:
    • More than 3 million Lucky Star meals consumed per day in Southern Africa
    • 1,4 million horse mackerel meals consumed per day in Africa
  • 85 000 tons of horse mackerel exported to eight African countries
  • 99,7% of our targeted South African commercial fishing rights are on the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s (SASSI) green list

Challenges

  • Escalating illegal and unregulated fishing
  • Changes in ecosystem resulting from climatic impact
  • Uncertainties in the distribution and availability of certain fish resources
  • Declining availability of marine research and scientific skills within government
  • Low squid catch rates and decreasing west coast rock lobster resource

Operational response

The health of our marine resource is critical for our business and for global food security. Delivering on our core purpose of being Africa’s most efficient converter of fishing rights into shared value requires a strong focus on upholding responsible fishing practices and supporting an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

Given the highly regulated nature of the fishing sector, and the fact that our access to marine resources is governed by a competitive application process, it is essential that we ensure full compliance with government expectations, including in particular those relating to responsible fishing practices.

We strive to be a leading steward of the marine resource by harvesting our marine resource allocations responsibly, partnering with others to promote an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, promoting research to ensure the sustainability of our marine resources, and enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to illegal and unregulated fishing. We also monitor and manage our operational impact on the environment.

A focus of our corporate social investment policy is food security projects within the communities in which we operate. This includes our ongoing support for Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa’s hunger relief efforts, which place a particular emphasis on early childhood development. Our canned fish and horse mackerel protein footprint is outlined in an appendix to the sustainable development report.

For an operational performance review, please refer to our integrated report.