Kroger will remove shark, marlin and bluefin tuna from its cases, and will aim to use certified sources for its top 20 wild-caught seafood items by 2015, after reaching an agreement with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The supermarket chain has set a goal to source 100 percent of the top 20 species from sources that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), in the process of full assessment, or are involved in a fishery improvement project with WWF.
Kroger has been working with WWF for more than a year to assess its current seafood supply and develop ways to improve the sustainability of its seafood buying practices and standards. The company says its internal analysis suggests that it is already more than halfway to the 2015 goal.
The supermarket is also supporting a number of the WWF’s fishery improvement projects, including work at Ecuadorian mahi mahi and Indonesian yellowfin tuna fisheries. Changes being made at these fisheries will help them perform at a level consistent with MSC standards and will benefit local communities, fishermen, suppliers and consumers, WWF says.
Kroger will no longer sell shark, marlin or bluefin tuna due to sustainability concerns with those species, the company said.
“As one of the largest traditional food retailers in the U.S., the Kroger family of stores plays an important role by working with the seafood industry on important sustainability practices,” said Bill Fox, vice president and managing director of WWF’s fisheries program. “Commitments like this are essential to achieving our conservation goals for healthy oceans.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger has more than 338,000 staff at over 2,458 stores in 31 states. Its store brands include Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.
Last April Kroger ranked 13th in rankings out of major national supermarkets, in Greenpeace’s annual seafood sustainability scorecard.
Correction: The publication date of the Greenpeace seafood scorecard has been corrected.