Greenpeace Names Groceries That Sell Sustainable Seafood

Greenpeace has released their 2011 Carting Away the Oceans report, which includes an updated Supermarket Score Card.  This score card reveals which supermarkets are doing the most for the sustainable seafood market, and which ones are lagging behind.

The Criteria
Greenpeace first released the Carting Away the Oceans report in 2008 to bring awareness to the issue of sustainable seafood, and to encourage retailers to use their purchasing power to support seafood that is not over-fished or fished in ways that damage the environment.  Greenpeace actively campaigned against supermarkets such as Trader Joe's and Costco, and succeeded in convincing these grocers to change their sustainable seafood policies.

Some of the primary issues considered in evaluating each supermarket's seafood sources include the use of destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling, conservation status of fish species and transparency of supply chain.  Greenpeace is especially concerned with the sale of fish such as orange roughy, shark and hoki, and all of the supermarkets that ranked highly on the 2011 Supermarket Score Card have eliminated the sale of these red-listed species.

Who Makes the Cut?

Greenpeace's Supermarket Score Card is ranked numerically and is also color-coded, with “red” as the worst, “orange” as better and “green” as best.  Although many grocers have been moving up in Greenpeace's rating system over the last few years, not a single one yet achieves a “green” rating.  According to the organization, there is still a long way to go to save our oceans.

At the top of the list is Safeway, followed closely by Target and Wegmans.  Whole Foods and Ahold round out the top five.  The top five groceries for sustainable seafood are the same as the 2010 report, but Safeway climbed from number four in 2010 to number one in 2011.  Other big-name groceries in the top fifteen include HEB, Price Chopper, Costco, and Kroger, all of which moved from a “red” rating in 2010 to an “orange” rating in 2011.  Supermarkets still marked “red” include Giant Eagle, Supervalu and Winn-Dixie.

As part of the Carting Away the Oceans report, Greenpeace offers a detailed profile of each supermarket, and outlines suggestions for what each grocery company must do in order to increase their rating on next year's Supermarket Score Card.  For example, in order to achieve a “green” rating in 2012, Greenpeace encourages Safeway to revise their canned tuna policy, eliminate the sale of yellowfin tuna, and support fisheries that use clean aquaculture practices.  Details about each supermarket are available on the report, and Greenpeace will keep working with supermarkets to improve sustainable seafood policies.

Photo Credit:  woody1778a