US largest grocery retailers Safeway join forces with FishWise towards sustainable seafood policy

January 27, 2010 10:12

One of the nation's largest grocery retailers Safeway Inc announced on January 26, 2010 it will join forces with FishWise, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping seafood businesses with marine conservation efforts, reports with reference to FishWise.

The partnership aims to develop and implement a more comprehensive sustainable seafood policy that will strengthen Safeway's earlier commitments to environmentally responsible seafood. Key components include requiring suppliers to participate in sustainability assessments and sourcing improvement plans, training staff on the company's sustainability policy, and providing science-based information on sustainable seafood to Safeway customers.

 "We look forward to working with FishWise," said Jim Bluming, Vice President, Seafood Marketing. "We hope this partnership will lead to a more sustainable product selection for our customers as well as improved transparency with our suppliers, and ultimately, healthy oceans and freshwater ecosystems for future generations."

By deploying a detailed sourcing assessment on behalf of Safeway, FishWise will prioritize suppliers and products for environmental improvement plans. These plans will be developed and implemented over the coming years, helping Safeway's seafood procurement to become more sustainable over time. Safeway will implement a traceability system to screen out suppliers of seafood products not meeting Safeway's new sustainable seafood policy. In addition, Safeway has agreed to discontinue the sale of grouper, red snapper (Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico), and monkfish until these overfished stocks recover.  FishWise will also draw upon its experience working with other leading retailers to develop a staff training program on the key components of seafood sustainability.

"FishWise commends Safeway's progress on seafood sustainability and looks forward to working together to develop and execute these plans. We believe Safeway is an industry leader in establishing responsible business practices and we are eager to demonstrate how this can lead to verifiable conservation gains," said Tobias Aguirre, Executive Director of FishWise.

The agreement between Safeway and FishWise is consistent with the Common Vision for Environmentally Sustainable Seafood. Common Vision is an ambitious, but realistic guide to environmentally responsible seafood for businesses, developed by more than fifteen of North America's leading ocean conservation organizations.

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