August 9, 2016 2:12 pm

MH becomes first supermarket chain to stop selling kawakawa and donu

MH (Morris Hed Supermarket has taken the first step as the only supermarket in Fiji to pledge to stop selling kawakawa and donu during its peak breeding months, committing to allow the disappearing fish to restock Fiji’s reefs and better provide for the food and income needs of Fiji communities. MH will go without selling more than 600 […]

MH (Morris Hed Supermarket has taken the first step as the only supermarket in Fiji to pledge to stop selling kawakawa and donu during its peak breeding months, committing to allow the disappearing fish to restock Fiji’s reefs and better provide for the food and income needs of Fiji communities.

The MHCC supermarket. (4FJ)
The MHCC supermarket. (4FJ)

MH will go without selling more than 600 kilograms of the fish and more than $10,000 in revenue to place Fiji more firmly on the path for green growth.

Carpenters Fiji Group Fiji Retail and Marketing Director Kunaseelan Sabaratnam said all sellers that provide fish to MH have been notified of the change.

SABARATBAM: “MH is committed to serving the people of Fiji and that means ensuring our corporate practices don’t jeopardize the welfare of the people. This prized fish will disappear from our markets and our plates all year round, if we don’t let them breed these critical months.”

Minister of Fisheries and Forests Osea Naiqamu praised the supermarket chain, as it puts its corporate weight behind the ministry mandate to ensure communities can benefit from its fisheries in the future.

NAIQAMU: “MH has shown to all that it is committed to the country for the long-term, and the Government of Fiji thanks them for joining this campaign to ensure the food security and livelihoods of the people of Fiji.”

Naiqamu said the ministry is hopeful that MH will encourage more retail business to stop selling the fish as well.

Meanwhile  founder of  cChange, the nonprofit that developed the campaign for Fisheries and a consortium of partners Scott Radway said the MH pledge is by far the most difficult anyone has taken, given the level of revenue its supermarkets has historically generated from the A-grade fish each year.

RADWAY: “MH is making an extraordinary statement on what corporate responsibility means in Fiji by putting the public good before its profits. This pledge is a watershed moment for this campaign but also the success of Green Growth in Fiji.”

MH joins more than 9,000 Fijians have publicly pledged to date, including many high profile leaders and institutions from across the community, public and private sectors.

The 4FJ campaign, launched in 2014, asks people from all walks of life to forego the fish during their peak breeding months, June through September, so they can release their eggs and replenish the reefs. Kawakawa and donu, known as grouper in English, have been rapidly declining over the past several decades, with catches decreasing 70 percent in 30 years.