Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

How We Source the Best Wild Alaska Salmon

Wild-caught Alaska salmon is one of the best tastes of summer. Full of flavor and rich in omega-3s, wild salmon is a great choice for weekend barbecues with friends and quick weeknight meals. But with so many concerns about sourcing seafood these days, we often get asked about how we procure wild-caught Alaska salmon. I’m happy to explain.

How is wild Alaska salmon sourced at Whole Foods Market?

All of our salmon is responsibly sourced. Last month, Greenpeace ranked us #1 again in their annual ranking of seafood sustainability at US supermarkets, thanks in part to our dedicated port buyers selecting fish directly from the docks and our rigorous full traceability. In fact, we are proud to be the only national retailer with full traceability from the docks to our stores.

What’s a port buyer?

Our very own port buyers, Keith Harris and Anthony Jordan, live in Alaska during the summer months and work directly with the fishermen on the docks to select the highest quality fish. After all, quality starts at the source and having these two port buyers in place, we can select the best!

Our buyers move from port to port, sourcing salmon, as well as halibut, king crab, sable, cod, sole, shrimp and more. Keith and Anthony know it’s not just putting their eyes on the best fish that matters, it’s also the relationships they build along the way. These relationships with fishermen allows us to continue procuring the freshest fish summer after summer.

Check out this video and catch a glimpse at what our port buyers are doing in Alaska.

What does having a port buyer mean to shoppers?

No other national market has skilled buyers like Keith and Anthony on site hand-selecting fish. This means:

  • We source wild-caught salmon from fishermen, not middlemen, all summer long.
  • Our wild-caught Alaska salmon is hand-selected by on-site seafood experts.
  • Fish comes directly from the icy rivers and bays of Alaska right to our stores, often within 48 hours.
  • We can focus on Sockeye, Coho, King and Keta salmon, and bring each species in at the peak of their particular season.

Thanks to our port buyers, you’ll find firm, rich wild Alaska salmon fresh in our stores all summer long – through September. We are proud to offer a variety of different options, so try something new.

When you buy salmon, does sourcing matter to you? What do you look for in the fish you’re buying? Tell me about it in the comments section below.