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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

We're Ranked #1 by Greenpeace for Seafood Sustainability

Color us proud! Whole Foods Market® is ranked #1 in Greenpeace’s just-released 2013 Seafood Sustainability Scorecard as the retail leader with the most rigorous sustainable seafood policies in the industry.

It takes a lot of work to maintain what we know is the strongest and most complex sourcing policy of any of the 20 retailers that were examined in Greenpeace’s report. Most recently we extended our policy to include highly specific benchmarks and metrics for mollusk aquaculture.  Our strict aquaculture standards for all species require fish farms to minimize the environmental impacts of their operations and have protocols in place to prevent fish from escaping. Antibiotics, growth hormones, and poultry and mammalian by-products may not be used in feed and strong traceability measures ensure farmed seafood is tracked from farm to store.

When it comes to our sustainable seafood policies for wild-caught fish,  through our pioneering labeling program in concert with the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) and the Blue Ocean Institute (BOI), we’re able to provide information at the point-of-sale regarding the sustainability status of our wild-caught fish not already designated as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. And, on Earth Day 2012 we made the significant commitment to no longer sell red-rated fish, using the MBA and BOI lists, which also included discontinuing six species listed on Greenpeace’s Red List.

Still, we do want to correct one area that Greenpeace didn’t have it right: Although we do sell Chilean sea bass, with a purchasing policy to only buy from such fisheries that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, we do not currently, nor do we plan to in the future, source Chilean sea bass from the controversial Ross Sea area near Antarctica.

It feels good to be recognized as the top retailer in the United States for seafood sustainability. From our strict purchasing policies, our active partnerships with suppliers and external organizations to encourage responsible practices, and our constant work to keep our customers informed and our seafood Team Members trained about our sourcing requirements, seafood sustainability remains top of mind for Whole Foods Market.