The Kroger Co. is on track to meet its sustainable seafood goals within the next three years, according to a progress update from the company as it recognized the final days of National Seafood Month.
"Today's seafood supplies are not unlimited, so Kroger is taking steps to require our suppliers to follow sustainable practices," says Mark Van Buskirk, Kroger VP for meat and seafood. "We have an important role to play in responsibly sourcing wild-caught and farm-raised seafood to help ensure the freshest, best-tasting seafood will be available for future generations. While we have more work to do, we are making progress in line with our commitments."
Kroger has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund, a leading conservation organization, to develop the company's strategy for responsibly sourced seafood.
Kroger is committed to sourcing 100 percent of the top 20 wild-caught species from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council-certified, in MSC full assessment or engaged in a World Wildlife Fund fishery improvement project by the year 2015. Today, 65 percent of Kroger's top 20 wild-caught fresh and frozen species are sourced from fisheries meeting these standards.
Kroger has set a goal to source 75 percent of the top 20 species by volume from MSC-certified fisheries by 2015. At present, approximately 50 percent of Kroger's top 20 species by volume are sourced from MSC-certified fisheries.
Kroger is working with the Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices program to ensure that the farmed seafood sold in our stores meets strict standards for sustainability.
Since the beginning of this year, Kroger has discontinued sourcing and sales of shark, bluefin tuna, marlin, and – beginning this October – skates and rays, due to the increasing sustainability concerns surrounding these species.
In October, Kroger launched a campaign to educate customers and associates about the importance of sustainable seafood practices, corresponding with National Seafood Month. The campaign included in-store stanchion and counter top signs and brochures and an updated sustainable seafood section of the company's sustainability website.