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METRO Group actively promotes sustainable fishery

Metro Group Press release

13th February 2006

Cooperation with the WWF planned.

METRO Group has removed nearly all shark products from the assortment offered in its home country Germany.  With this move it is setting yet another clear signal for a sustainable fishery and an ecologically responsible assortment policy.

METRO Group and the WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) are planning to cooperate on a better protection of endangered fish species.  In this context, the METRO Group will concentrate even more on fish products from sustainably managed fisheries in future.  Among others, it is planned that the WWF will assist the retailing company in this task with its expert advice.  In addition, the consumer’s attention is to be drawn to fish products bearing the label of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  The label identifies fish products originating from sustainable fisheries.

Hans-Jürgen Matern, Manager Quality Assurance at the METRO Group, about the planned cooperation with the WWF: "We want to offer our customers all popular fish species such as codfish, plaice or hake also in the future.  We can only achieve this over the long term if the marine diversity is preserved.  The METRO Group wishes to contribute to this.  On account of its longstanding experience in the field of ecologically compatible fishery, the WWF would be a partner that is both competent and credible."

For more than ten years now the METRO Group has been buying its tuna fish exclusively from suppliers affiliated with the Earth Island Institute (EII).  The EII bans the use of drift nets in which dolphins, sharks, seals and seabirds can become entangled.  Moreover, the METRO Group was the first German retailer to include products from MSC-certified fisheries in its comprehensive food assortment in the year 2002.

"The MSC label signalizes consumers that they can eat the purchased fish with a clear conscience", says WWF fishery expert Heike Vesper.  "The WWF welcomes the intention of the METRO Group to convince as many customers as possible about purchasing fish from sustainable fisheries.  This represents the continuation of a positive trend: An increasing number of retailers are offering fish with the MSC label.  The METRO Group is one of the forerunners in this matter and, as the largest fish retailer in Europe, it can contribute decisively to extending the offer of MSC-certified fish."

Consumers will find recommendations as to which seafood can be served with a clear conscience and which species should rather be avoided in the WWF brochure "Einkaufsführer Fisch" (shopping guide fish)

METRO Group is one of the most important international retailing companies.  In 2005 the group reached sales of € 55.7 billion according to preliminary figures.  The company has a headcount of about 250,000 employees and operates more than 1,800 outlets in 29 countries.  The operating business is performed by the sales divisions which operate independently in the market: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – world market leader in cash & carry wholesale, Real SB hypermarkets and Extra supermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – market leader in consumer electronics centres in Europe, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.