SOURCE: Albertsons SafewayDESCRIPTION:
We are proud to announce that as of year-end 2015, 77% of Safeway’s fresh and frozen seafood and 99% of private label frozen packaged seafood met our Responsible Sourcing Commitment. Since setting this ambitious goal in 2010, Safeway (including Carrs, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Vons, and Pavilions) has transitioned over 29 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources. To help reach this major milestone, we partnered with FishWise, an environmental non-profit that promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
Together with FishWise, we’ve created a comprehensive sustainable seafood program and have celebrated notable achievements on many fronts. In an effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, we publicly supported new federal legislation (H.R. 774/ S.1334), and we successfully transitioned all of our king crab away from high risk, IUU fisheries to well-managed Alaskan sources. We seek to be leaders in the traceability of our seafood supply chains and have done so through rigorous data collection processes and traceability exercises. We also value science-based marine protected areas and have supported protection for Antarctica’s Ross Sea by pledging to not buy Chilean sea bass from this region. We are proud of our accomplishments, and yet we recognize that there is still much to be done on our sustainability journey. For this reason, we will be redoubling our efforts in the coming years.
Safeway is committed to supporting efforts that improve the environmental performance of wild fisheries and aquaculture farms worldwide. When responsibly sourced products are unavailable, we prioritize wild seafood from fishery improvement projects, as defined by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. For farmed seafood, we have actively engaged with key industry stakeholders to strengthen aquaculture certification standards and see effective zonal management as key to long term sustainability. In both wild and farmed seafood, we are engaged in the hard work necessary to reduce environmental impacts. Farmed salmon remains a priority for our company. If this category met our Responsible Seafood Policy, our overall progress toward the year-end 2015 Commitment would have reached 95%. Through continued collaboration with industry, conservation groups, and certification bodies, we will continue to work to find innovative solutions to address the environmental challenges in farmed salmon production until this seafood meets our sourcing policy.
In addition to our conservation efforts, we are also dedicated to reducing the risk of human rights abuses in global seafood supply chains, an urgent issue that has recently come to light. While complex challenges remain, we are hopeful that our continued collaboration with NGOs, industry stakeholders, and government representatives will improve social conditions in the seafood industry. Complementing this approach, in 2015 Safeway introduced the world’s first Fair Trade CertifiedTM 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 earlier this year, we extended our partnership with FishWise across all of the Albertsons Companies family of stores, effectively doubling the size of our Responsible Seafood Program to incorporate over 2,200 retail locations. Moving forward, all Albertsons Companies divisions will transition to sourcing fresh and private label frozen 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. As a unified company, Albertsons and Safeway stores remain committed to providing our customers with high quality seafood that is responsibly sourced, to align with our mission to create better lives, vibrant neighborhoods, and a healthier planet.
KEYWORDS: Ethical Production and Consumption, Environment and Climate Change, Safeway, Albertsons Companies, Responsible Choice, sustainable seafood, Fair Trade Certified, seafood, Fair Trade USA, Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Ross Sea, FishWise, responsible seafood goal