Seafood Quality Standards
Our Seafood Quality Standards set strict requirements for the seafood we source, but our larger goal goes beyond what we sell in our stores — we aim to help move the whole seafood industry toward healthier oceans. Each day, our committed seafood buyers purchase high quality seafood from dedicated suppliers who run the best managed fisheries and farms in the U.S. and abroad. In this way, we provide responsibly sourced seafood for our customers while supporting innovative and sustainable production practices.
All of the wild-caught seafood we sell is from fisheries that are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or rated either "Green" or "Yellow" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program and The Safina Center. We don’t sell any of the red-rated seafood that you might find at other grocery stores or seafood markets. Red ratings typically suggest that the fish population is overfished or caught in ways that harm other marine life or habitats.
Farming seafood (aquaculture) can provide a consistent, high-quality, year-round supply of healthy and delicious protein. When it's done right, aquaculture can be environmentally friendly and can be a crucial way to supplement wild-caught fish supplies. On the other hand, poor farming practices like the overuse of chemicals and antibiotics and those that cause water pollution and other negative impacts on the environment are bad news. Our strict Quality Standards and third-party verification process ensures that we only source farmed seafood from the world's leaders in environmentally responsible aquaculture.
Commitment to Quality and Traceability
We’ve provided full traceability from fishery or farm to store since 2011. We own and operate processing and distribution facilities that allow us to monitor and distribute our seafood with close oversight. In many cases, our producers are catching or farming seafood just for us and deliver it to our own facilities located in:
- Pigeon Cove (Gloucester, Massachusetts) — Situated right on the water, Pigeon Cove provides our buyers with close access to North Atlantic ground fish, including cod, haddock and flounder.
- South Seafood (Atlanta, Georgia) — Our gulf and southern Atlantic species experts, sourcing the best mahimahi, grouper and snapper.
- Mid-Atlantic Seafood (Landover, Maryland) — Our specialists in sourcing Icelandic groundfish and East Coast favorites such as local striped bass and blue crabs.
Our tireless commitment to quality doesn't end there. We also offer the finest frozen seafood for convenience, value and year-round availability of seasonal favorites. And frozen seafood offers an added benefit for the planet: Its carbon footprint is smaller since it can be transported by boat instead of by air. Some species, such as farmed shrimp, are flash-frozen upon harvest to capture their freshest flavor and texture. Seasonal wild-caught salmon is also flash-frozen to ensure a steady supply during winter when fresh wild salmon is not an option.