Environment & Science

Vons tops Greenpeace's annual sustainable seafood list for grocers

Vons sign
Vons sign
Thomas Hawk/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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The Vons grocery store chain leads the way in seafood sustainability.

Greenpeace ranks supermarket chains every year on their policies for purchasing seafood, their stands on conserving fish and how they label the seafood they sell. Safeway, the parent of Vons and Pavilions, jumped from fourth place last year to the top after the company called on countries controlling Antarctic fisheries to create a marine reserve. Safeway also now contributes to rebuilding fish stocks that have been overfished.

In Greenpeace’s report, Target shared the second spot with a regional chain. Target quit stocking fish sold as Chilean sea bass.

Whole Foods came in fourth. Trader Joe’s came in 12th below Costco.

Stores lose points if they market seafood like orange roughy; it’s caught by “bottom-trawling” – a practice that’s collapsed the orange roughy in some areas. Catching species unintentionally in fishing gear – like shrimp trawlers do with red snapper – can break a fishery, too.

Northern California’s smaller co-op markets did well in the rankings. Ralphs, Bristol Farms and Save-a-Lot ranked near the bottom.