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Loblaw First Retailer In North America To Introduce ASC-certified Responsibly Farmed Salmon In Its Stores

BRAMPTON, ON, March 11, 2014 /CNW/ - (TSX: L) Loblaw Companies Limited is proud to be the first grocery retailer in North America to offer Atlantic salmon certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), available soon at select Loblaws® and Zehrs® stores in Ontario and Quebec. Customers can be assured that ASC-certified seafood comes from fish farms that are responsibly managed and limit their adverse impact on the environment.

The ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that aims to be the leading global certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. It manages the worldwide standards for responsibly farmed seafood and is committed to preserving marine and fresh-water habitats while endorsing social standards.

After introducing the first ASC-certified product in North America in early 2013 with PC® Blue Menu Tilapia, Loblaw has played a leadership role in bringing responsibly farmed certified seafood products to the wider marketplace.

"Loblaw is the largest seller of seafood in Canada and we are proud to be introducing the first ASC-certified Atlantic salmon in stores, one of many ASC-certified products we are looking to introduce," said Melanie Agopian, senior director, Sustainability, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We remain committed to improving our seafood sourcing practices and will continue to work diligently with our industry partners to drive towards responsible harvesting practices of both wild and farmed seafood."

"I'd like to thank Loblaw for their support and commitment to source ASC-certified seafood," said Chris Ninnes, CEO, ASC. "By offering consumers ASC-certified salmon, Loblaw gives them the opportunity to recognise and reward more responsible farming as well as contribute to transforming aquaculture towards sustainability. This milestone is a great development for Loblaw, ASC and especially North American consumers."

"This is excellent news for Canadian seafood lovers, and a major milestone in Loblaw's ongoing commitment to source 100 per cent sustainable seafood," said David Miller, WWF Canada's President and CEO. "With ASC-certified Atlantic salmon now available, Canadians have the option to choose salmon products that have a lower impact on the environment."

In 2009, Loblaw became the first major food retailer in Canada to commit to sourcing 100 per cent of the seafood in its stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. Loblaw is proud to have converted 88 per cent of sales in key seafood categories to products that fall in one of the following categories: certified sustainable, acceptable with conditions, making meaningful progress towards sustainability.  Learn more about Loblaw's ongoing commitment in their annual seafood progress report here: www.loblaw.ca/seafood.

The ASC-certified fresh Atlantic salmon will be available soon at select Loblaws ® and Zehrs ® locations in Ontario and Quebec.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 138,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points and PC Plus™ loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

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