Thursday, April 07, 2011

Real ocean sustainability action from Safeway

Safeway, the supermarket chain, has made an impressive seafood sustainability pledge. They are working with NGO FishWise to make their pledge real and credible.

They are reforming their seafood purchasing, but that's not all. To me, the most impressive part is their work outside of what they buy and sell. Safeway has sailed into some rough waters around Marine Protected Areas in California, including no fishing zones in California and around Antarctica. And the California action is not risk-free.

California's Marine Life Protection Act has supporters and detractors. Some activist recreational fishermen are aggressively fighting closure of fishing spots, even though most of the coast remains open for fishing. But Safeway is willing to stick their necks out and support the rational, transparent, inclusive, science-based process of creating marine protected areas that allow fish some refuge areas.

This is real green, when entities with political clout use their influence for the public good. Safeway can help achieve ocean protection that will make their sustainable purchasing goals easier to achieve. Go Safeway!

You can see for yourself, read about Safeway's sustainable seafood pledge:
"As one of the nation’s largest food retailers, Safeway recognizes its responsibility to be a steward of our natural resources. We aim to develop an unrivaled reputation for pursuing growth through leadership in environmental, socially responsible and ethical business practices.

As part of this important “sustainability” journey for seafood, we are fully engaging with our vendors to balance our ongoing business requirements for meeting growing consumer demand for seafood while making a measurable difference to our rivers, lakes, and oceans. To achieve our goal, we have joined forces with FishWise, a non-profit organization focused on improving the sustainability of seafood retailers, distributors, and producers, and have implemented a comprehensive sustainable seafood policy centered on four key areas: formation of a sustainable seafood task force, supplier outreach, staff training and customer outreach. In fact, information about our seafood sustainability policy can now be found at most Safeway seafood departments.

An important part of being a responsible seafood business is to not only limit the impacts of where we are fishing, but to set aside areas where we are not. Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) are important to ensure the biodiversity and productivity of our oceans. In California, Safeway is a proponent of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPA), which balances the use and conservation of living marine resources through a statewide network of MPA's. Additionally, we are helping to preserve one the last pristine marine areas on earth; Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Safeway has pledged to not buy or sell toothfish (Chilean Sea Bass) harvested from the Ross Sea and encourages Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) member countries to designate the entire Ross Sea as an MPA.

We are also taking the following actions:

Supporting groups that make a difference, such as the Food Marketing Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Working Group, the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and the World Wildlife Fund’s Aquaculture Dialogues
Not selling “Red List” species, for example, bluefin tuna and shark
Supporting fishery and aquaculture improvements by encouraging unsustainable fisheries and farms to establish credible improvement projects designed to both meet our purchasing policy and result in measurable conservation gains
Seeking sustainable alternatives from sources that are working towards eliminating the environmental impacts of traditional harvesting and production methods, like coho salmon and shrimp from contained aquaculture production and handline caught tuna from Indonesia"

Thanks: Casson Trenor

1 comment:

Kate said...

Safeway has been doing a lot of great things lately. This is just one of them. The other thing they've started that I like is their Simple Nutrition labeling program. Whenever I'm in a city that has a Safeway, I'll be shopping there. I just wish they'd come back to Albuquerque. With the things they've been doing, I think that they could take on Albertson's and Smith's/Kroger.