Jürg Knoll and Harri Butsch founded the company fish&more in Friedrichshafen in the year 2000, right after graduating from university. They imported Zander and Perch and sold them to German supermarkets. In the following years, they learned more and more about the consequences of conventional fishing practices and thus decided to completely transform their company in 2007. This was when they created the brand followfish, which stands for fish products caught according to strict sustainable guidelines. In order to achieve this, followfish invented the tracking code, which allows consumers to trace the fish in the packaging back to its origin and even track transportation routes and CO₂ footprints. The success of followfish led to the expansion of their sustainable mindset to other food products. Since 2013, a vegetarian and vegan product range has been added to the broad range of fish products with all products now belonging to the overall brand followfood and gradually expanding to include other food categories.
At A Glance
- We want to save the planet. NOW is the time for CHANGE.
The Earth, as a unique and exceptional planet in the solar system, has been home to various organisms on and above the ground, in water, and in the air for millions of years. The ideal conditions for life are one of the reasons behind this. One part of these conditions is the so-called climate, which refers to weather patterns over an extended period of time, allowing for an incredible diversity of life, including human life. However, this delicate balance is at risk of tipping. It requires a societal transformation. We want to be a part of shaping it. Please also refer to the followfood principle and the magazine article "Wir wollen Klima retten" for more information.
- Trendsetters Tracking codes
followfish was the first company in the world to develop an online tracking code to finally bring full transparency to the fishing industry. By entering a code printed on every followfish packaging, consumers can see when and where the purchased fish was caught and by whom, how it was transported and where it was stored.
The introduction of the tracking code in 2008 caused a great stir in the market. Supplier relationships and producers were mostly well-guarded, non-public "trade secrets." However, followfood already believed back in 2007 that this mindset was outdated and not customer-oriented. Modern customers want to know what they eat and where it comes from. Since the launch of followfood, we have extended this vision of full transparency to our "non-fish" products as well. Please also refer to the followfood principle and the magazine article "Die Entstehung einer Vision und ihre Folgen" for more information.
- Not only the sea... The followfood Soil Saver Initiative
In 2019, followfood founded its so-called “soil saver initiative” to promote regenerative agriculture. For all followfood soil saver products sold, 1% of the overall turnover of these products flow into a fund. In 2019, 50,000 euros were distributed to support organic farmers to align their agriculture beyond the EU organic standards with the aim of integrating regenerative agriculture. The first project with an organic farm in southern Germany started in 2020 and resulted in the first products in 2023. Please also refer to the followfood magazine article "Regenerative Agriculture" for more information.
The state of our oceans and fisheries is a growing concern that demands immediate attention. Unsustainable fishing practices, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution are putting marine ecosystems at risk. It is crucial that we take action to protect our oceans, preserve marine biodiversity, and ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries. Together, we can make a positive impact and secure a healthier future for our oceans
Company Policies and Reports
The followfood sourcing standard: Promoting sustainable and responsible practices with traceability
The followfood brand adheres to a rigorous sourcing standard that integrates MSC-certified fisheries as a pre-condition and incorporates additional criteria to select fisheries with superior environmental performance. Our sourcing standard focuses on sustainability, responsible practices, and traceability throughout the supply chain, aiming to safeguard marine ecosystems and promote social welfare.
Our evaluation of environmental performance encompasses several key factors. We assess fishing practices based on selectivity (by-catch), the impact on critical species, the status of overexploited stocks, and the exclusion of destructive fishing gear. Our objective is to minimize bycatch of non-target species classified as threatened or protected and ensure the sustainable management of fish populations.
To minimize ecological disturbance, we exclude fishing methods that mechanically interact with the seabed from new products, such as beam trawls and dredges, while considering methods with minimal bottom contact as more acceptable in terms of environmental impact.
In addition to environmental considerations, our sourcing standard includes social requirements in primary production and processing. We conduct risk analyses, enforce compliance with ILO conventions, and strive for recognized standards such as BSCI, SMETA Level II, and SA 8000.
Traceability is a fundamental aspect of our sourcing standard. We emphasize the ability to trace our seafood products back to their origin, ensuring transparency and accountability in our supply chain. This allows us to verify the integrity and sustainability of our products and provide consumers with confidence in their purchasing decisions.
By adhering to this standard, we aim to contribute to the preservation of marine ecosystems, promote social well-being, and offer consumers scientifically supported and traceable seafood choices.
Collaborating with other industry members, we can collectively drive positive change, advance traceability practices, and foster a more sustainable future for our oceans and communities.
Fisheries Improvement Toolbox (FIT) Engagement
In 2013, followfood caused a stir with their transparency app. This put the power to the consumer to see where their product actually came from. Ever since followfood has been a standout leader demanding transparency in all products. This project gives consumers the power to see firsthand where the products they buy came from.
Three years later in 2016, followfood expanded to support global fishers. They began working with a team of about 20 and a network of sustainable fishers and organic fish farmers throughout the world, from organic shrimp farmers in Vietnam to pole-and-line fishers in the Maldives, to suppliers of organic mussels in Ireland.
They have continued to offer support and expertise, and in 2018 followfood was heavily involved in IPNLF's commitment to Indonesia’s one-by-one tuna fisheries at the 3rd BTC and 6th ICTBF.