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Supermarket Protecting Our Oceans is Everyone’s Business: Ranking Supermarkets on Seafood Sustainability

Supermarket Protecting Our Oceans is Everyone’s Business: Ranking Supermarkets on Seafood Sustainability

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Published by Greenpeace Canada
Canada’s retailers joined the sustainable seafood movement
after their European counterparts, but many are now leading
the charge toward a new age of ocean-friendly seafood
sourcing. Six of the eight biggest supermarket chains have
adopted sustainable sourcing policies that apply not just to the
fresh and frozen seafood found at the fish counter, but to all
products containing marine ingredients. Their commitments are
ambitious, commendable, and ultimately, necessary for them to
make the most meaningful impact.
Canada’s retailers joined the sustainable seafood movement
after their European counterparts, but many are now leading
the charge toward a new age of ocean-friendly seafood
sourcing. Six of the eight biggest supermarket chains have
adopted sustainable sourcing policies that apply not just to the
fresh and frozen seafood found at the fish counter, but to all
products containing marine ingredients. Their commitments are
ambitious, commendable, and ultimately, necessary for them to
make the most meaningful impact.

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Categories:Types, Presentations
Published by: Greenpeace Canada on Jul 02, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/29/2014

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Protecting Our Oceans is Everyone’s Business:
 Ranking Supermarkets on Seafood Sustainability 
2014 edition
 
2
 
 
CONTENTS
3 Executive Summary5 Introduction6 Looking back, moving forward 7 The 5 phases of the sustainable seafood journey9 Beyond the seafood counter: supporting ocean sanctuaries11 Big steps on big sellers 11 Farmed Salmon 13 Canned Tuna15 Ranking overview: how Greenpeace grades16 Company profiles
 16 Canada Safeway  18 Loblaw 20 Metro 22 Overwaitea Food Group 24 Walmart Canada 26 Federated Co-operatives 28 Sobeys 30 Costco Canada
32 Redlist Removals 2014
 Author
Sarah King
Design
Elysha Poirier
Photo credits
pg. 2
©
 Alex Hofford / Greenpeace; pg.4
©
Paul Hilton / Greenpeace; pg. 6
 ©
Greenpeace / Ben Fox ; pg. 10
©
 Gavin Newman / Greenpeace; pg. 11
©
 Tofino Photography; pg. 13
©
 Andrew Norton / Greenpeace pg. 14
©
 Greenpeace / Paul Hilton; pg. 33
©
 Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
 Acknowledgments
 Thanks to Charles Latimer, Laura Yates, Cat Dorey, Mary Ambrose and our dedicated volunteers and supporters for their contribution to this report.
Published by Greenpeace Canada
July 2014 ISBN 978-0-9877581-4-9
 
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
Canada’s retailers joined the sustainable seafood movement after their European counterparts, but many are now leading the charge toward a new age of ocean-friendly seafood sourcing. Six of the eight biggest supermarket chains have adopted sustainable sourcing policies that apply not just to the fresh and frozen seafood found at the fish counter, but to all products containing marine ingredients. Their commitments are ambitious, commendable, and ultimately, necessary for them to make the most meaningful impact. Canada Safeway, recently acquired by Sobeys Inc., placed first in this year’s ranking largely due to the company’s efforts to seek more sustainable alternatives for some major, and unsustainable, seafood sellers. Loblaw placed a close second and is the first of the ranked retailers to begin to tackle seafood categories beyond fresh, frozen and canned seafood. These two companies were the only ones to receive a green rating this year reflecting their momentum toward achieving their goals. Metro jumped up the ranks this year to third place with a score approaching a green rating, while Overwaitea Food Group dropped from its first place and green rating, reflecting a lack of clarity by the company about its ongoing dedication to sustainable seafood. Walmart, Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) and Sobeys are in the middle of the stack, with FCL working hard to find alternatives and Walmart and Sobeys both revamping their sourcing policies following the expiration of their 2013 commitments. Costco placed last again this year because of its continuing lack of transparency about its sustainability initiatives in the Canadian side of its business.Overall, most retailers have solid species assessment systems in place, as well as traceability programs to track their fish from sea to store, clear decision-making processes on what seafood can and cannot be sourced, and they are providing information to their customers about their sustainability initiatives and what they consider more sustainable seafood options. The sector is starting to take some positive steps on sourcing ocean-friendly canned tuna options in their private label brands and there is more acknowledgment that one of the their top sellers, net-pen farmed salmon, does not fit with their sustainability goals. Some companies are starting to address that issue. Improvement is still needed across the board. Retailers need to be consistent in how they apply criteria to private label and national brand products and set clear timelines on when they will discontinue unsustainable product if the fishery or aquaculture operation does not improve. They also need to conduct third party audits to ensure their products are what they think they are. While most companies are moving in the right direction, as major buyers and sellers of seafood, their impact on our oceans is still significant. Ensuring sustainable seafood supply chains is not enough to allow fish stocks to recover and stay healthy for years to come. Diminished and vulnerable stocks need areas free from human exploitation where their habitat is protected from the growing threats to our oceans. Retailers can do more to ensure sustainable seafood. Polling commissioned by Greenpeace Canada shows that Canadians want more marine protection, and retailers can help deliver that. Some have started to express their support for the creation of marine reserves and recognize certain areas should be off limits. But strong commitments to avoid sourcing from proposed and existing marine reserves and a pledge to take the next step as advocates for our oceans are still on the horizon.

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