US - FishWise retailer partner Safeway has reached a major milestone in seafood sustainability. As of year-end 2015, 77 per cent of Safeway’s fresh and frozen seafood and 99 per cent of private label frozen packaged seafood met the company’s Responsible Sourcing Commitment.
Since setting this ambitious commitment in 2010, Safeway (including Carrs, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Vons and Pavilions) has transitioned over 29 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources and improved the company’s overall percentage of responsibly sourced seafood from an initial starting point of 34 per cent.
Together with FishWise, Safeway created a comprehensive sustainable seafood program that earned the company many accolades, such as topping Greenpeace’s annual retailer scorecard and receiving praise from the Ethisphere Institute and the Seafood Choices Alliance.
In an effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Safeway publicly supported new federal legislation (H.R. 774/ S.1334), and the company also transitioned all of its king crab away from high risk, IUU fisheries to well-managed Alaskan sources. Safeway is dedicated to improving the traceability of its seafood supply chains through rigorous data collection processes and traceability exercises.
The company also demonstrated support for science-based marine protected areas by pledging to not buy Chilean sea bass from Antarctica’s pristine Ross Sea. FishWise is proud of Safeway’s many accomplishments and looks forward to continuing the successful partnership in the coming years.
FishWise and Safeway are committed to supporting efforts that improve the environmental performance of wild fisheries and aquaculture farms worldwide. When responsibly caught products are unavailable, Safeway has prioritized sourcing wild seafood from fishery improvement projects, as defined by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.
For farmed seafood, FishWise and Safeway have actively engaged with key industry stakeholders to strengthen aquaculture certification standards and recognize the importance of effective zonal management to achieve long-term sustainability. Farmed salmon remains a priority for Safeway. If this category met their Responsible Seafood Policy, their overall progress toward the year-end 2015 Commitment would have reached 95 per cent. Through continued collaboration with industry, conservation groups, and certification bodies, Safeway will continue to work to find innovative solutions to address the environmental challenges in farmed salmon production until this seafood meets their sourcing policy.
In addition to conservation efforts, FishWise and Safeway are dedicated to reducing the risk of human rights abuses in seafood supply chains. While complex challenges remain, Fishwise and Safeway are actively engaging with other NGOs, industry stakeholders, and government representatives to improve social conditions in seafood supply chains.
To highlight some of their efforts, in 2015 Safeway introduced the world’s first Fair Trade certified seafood product. Thanks to strict Fair Trade standards and audits, consumers can feel confident that purchasing this product ensures the fundamental human rights of fishermen
Following Safeway’s merger with Albertsons in 2015, FishWise and Albertsons Companies extended their seafood partnership across all company banners, effectively doubling the size of the program to incorporate all 2,200 retail locations.
Moving forward, FishWise will work closely with all of the Albertsons Companies Divisions to transition to sourcing fresh and frozen private label seafood that is Green or Yellow rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, certified to an equivalent environmental standard, or sourced from fisheries or farms making measurable and time-bound improvements. FishWise looks forward to continuing its successful journey towards seafood sustainability with Safeway and the rest of Albertsons Companies.