Sponsored ContentMay 16, 2012
Leading the Way in Seafood Sustainability
Sustainability may be the new buzzword, but it's been a part of Whole Foods Market's culture since the opening of our first store in 1980.
We lead the industry in establishing rigorous sustainability standards for sourcing seafood—whether it's wild-caught or farmed. For wild-caught seafood, we have collaborated with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world's leading fishery sustainability certification program, since 1999. If a fishery isn't certified, we provide color-coded sustainability status info from our highly respected partners, Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium. We make it easy for consumers to make informed choices about their seafood by offering only MSC-certified or green- and yellow-rated wild-caught seafood. You won't find seafood from fisheries rated red (those that are overfished, poorly managed or use fishing methods that harm marine life and habitats) in our seafood cases.
For farmed seafood, our industry-leading standards are extensive and include detailed requirements to protect the environment. We also prohibit antibiotics, preservatives and land-animal products in feed. We require farm-to-store traceability and all farms must pass an annual third-party audit to ensure our standards are being met. Look for the Responsibly Farmed™ logo in our seafood departments and feel confident that you're making a smart choice.
Responsibly caught swordfish
Our commitment to sustainability and freshness helps us navigate towards seafood from abundant, well-managed populations, such as North Atlantic swordfish from the MSC-certified harpoon fishery. For a few precious weeks in June, the fish are caught by skillful harpooners in Nova Scotia who fish the traditional way. Fish are individually sighted and caught one-by-one, virtually eliminating the chance of catching other marine life in the process (called bycatch). Our own on-site port buyer ensures that great care is taken as fish are moved from captains' boats all the way to our seafood counters. The Nova Scotia harpoon fishery was the first swordfish fishery ever to be certified sustainable by the MSC.
Our expert buyers manage the complexities of sourcing the highest quality fish and our in-house fishmongers take great care of the fish to keep it that way. Global Seafood Buyer David Pilat—A 20+ year Team Member—is well-versed in Whole Foods Market's core values and applies our high standards to our sourcing program. With an eye to consumers' regional preferences, our team of seafood buyers work to source locally whenever possible. When it's imported, David's sure to select from the world's best seafood suppliers.
As our Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator, Carrie Brownstein establishes our policies for responsible seafood sourcing for all of our stores. She researches and analyzes critical issues in fisheries and aquaculture—both out in the field and in the office—and works with a wide range of our stakeholders, from fish farmers to fishermen, environmental groups to scientists. She develops standards that are science-based and also make good business sense. With her background in marine ecology and fisheries and her family's roots in the seafood business since 1909, she's fully immersed in and committed to seafood sustainability.
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