Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Whole Foods, Safeway earn top seafood marks from Greenpeace

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Earlier this month, Greenpeace released their 2012 Carting Away the Oceans report (AKA CATO). It found that grocery chains Safeway and Whole Foods are the first retailers to earn a “green” rating for the sustainability of the seafood sold in their stores.

“Safeway and Whole Foods have transformed themselves into true industry leaders,” said Greenpeace’s Senior Markets Campaigner Casson Trenor in a press release. “There is certainly still more work to be done, but we celebrate the achievements of these companies and eagerly await similar actions from other retailers posed to embrace sustainability to a greater degree.”

Both stores earned a rating of 7.1 out of 10, with 7 being the lowest score that qualifies as “green” in the annual report, launched in 2008. Greenpeace was especially enamored with Whole Foods’ recent Earth Day-related pledge to stop selling “red-listed” seafood species, a move we reported on last month. To be red-listed, a species is determined to be from depleted waters or collected through destructive means.

Safeway, while applauded for their strides, gets called out for a canned tuna section the report says, “Still awards most of its valuable real estate to brands that plunder the planet in search of short-term profit.” 

The study also chided the Kroger grocery store chain for continuing to sell an “appalling” 17 red-listed seafood species.

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