Safeway on Track to Achieve 2015 Seafood Sustainability Goal
Safeway’s seafood team has made great headway in ensuring our seafood comes from responsible producers. Here are the highlights from the program:
What’s the goal? All of Safeway’s fresh and frozen seafood will be responsibly sourced and traceable or in a time-bound improvements process by the end of 2015.
How close are we now? Current data indicates that 70% of Safeway’s fresh and frozen seafood is responsibly sourced, up from 51% at the end of 2013.
What does “responsibly sourced” mean? Responsibly sourced seafood is fished or farmed in a way that safeguards future seafood supplies while minimizing impacts on surrounding ecosystems. We rely on ratings developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) Seafood Watch® program as well as certifications to ensure our seafood purchases are responsibly sourced.
What progress did you make this year? We’re shifting our sourcing practices to make sure that we sell seafood rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the MBA. For example, Safeway now sources California halibut from well-managed US fisheries that avoid harmful interactions with sea turtles. Other species we’ve shifted our purchasing for since January are farmed shrimp, Caribbean lobster, wild salmon, mahi mahi, yellowfin and albacore tuna.
Are we going to get to 100% by the end of 2015? We’re on track and are confident that our efforts will yield results in 2015.
What else are we doing on seafood sustainability? We believe that we have a responsibility to not just source responsibly but to help protect our oceans in other ways, including:
- Education – We label our products with “Responsible Choice” tags in store so that our customers can choose options that are better for the environment.
- Advocacy – We have written letters to support sustainable practices, for example, we recently sent a letter to the Russian Pollock Catchers Association in support of their current improvement efforts.
- Traceability – We have reached out to our suppliers to communicate our sustainability and traceability expectations and we verify that products can be traced back to the farm or boat from which they were harvested.
All this work has led us to be #2 on the Greenpeace 2014 Supermarket Seafood Sustainability Scorecard with recognition as an industry leader in policy, initiatives and transparency. We’ve held the #1 or #2 title for the past four years.
We’d like to give a big “thank you” to our partner FishWise for all their support in our journey to become more sustainable in our seafood sourcing.
Learn more about Safeway’s seafood goal and milestones on our seafood sustainability page.
Seafood Watch® is a registered service mark of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation.