Responsible seafood sourcing is an important component of Safeway's overall and comprehensive sustainability strategy, which it refers to as the Heart of Safeway.
The Sustainable Seafood video, which is playing at the Academy's main exhibit floor and on the institution's web site at www.calacademy.org/sciencetoday/sustainable-seafood/, highlights innovative ways that researchers, retailers and environmental groups are harvesting seafood without jeopardising the health of the ecosystems from which it was caught.
Safeway is featured for its industry-leading seafood sourcing initiative, which sets strict requirements for protecting rivers, lakes, and oceans while meeting growing consumer demand for seafood.
"We are proud to be part of this video, which will serve as an educational tool for consumers and a call to action for everyone involved in fishing, raising, or selling seafood," said Safeway's Group Director of Seafood Phil Gibson, who appears in the video.
Also interviewed for the four-minute presentation, which is part of the Academy's "Science in Action" series, are representatives from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch programme and Greenpeace US. In April, Greenpeace ranked Safeway the top national grocer in seafood sustainability in its 2011 retailer scorecard, an accolade that also was highlighted in the video.
To map out a clear plan for seafood procurement in the US, Safeway joined forces with FishWise, a non-profit organisation focused on improving the sustainability of seafood retailers, distributors, and producers.
FishWise helped the company establish a comprehensive policy centered on four key areas: formation of a sustainable seafood task force, supplier outreach, staff training and customer outreach. Information about this policy can now be found at most Safeway seafood departments.
This year, Canada Safeway Ltd. secured a comparable strategic partnership with SeaChoice, a national Canadian coalition of leading environmental organizations focused on seafood sustainability. Similar to the US operations, Safeway Canada and SeaChoice will engage with suppliers to assess and improve sustainable seafood procurement, as well as educate employees and customers about the environmental concerns associated with seafood.
As an extension of its commitment to sustainable sourcing, Safeway is also helping to preserve natural resources in Marine Protected Areas (MPA), which are important to ensure the biodiversity and productivity of the world's oceans. In California, Safeway is a proponent of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, which balances the use and conservation of living marine resources through a statewide network of Marine Protected Areas.
Additionally, the company is helping to preserve one of the last pristine marine areas on earth Antarctica's Ross Sea. Safeway has pledged to not buy or sell toothfish (Chilean Sea Bass) harvested from the Ross Sea and encourages Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) member countries to designate the entire Ross Sea as an MPA.
The company has also taken the following important actions:
- Supporting groups that are working on making substantial progress on seafood sustainability, such as the Food Marketing Institute's Sustainable Seafood Working Group, the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and the World Wildlife Fund's Aquaculture Dialogues
- Not selling certain "Red List" species, for example, bluefin tuna and shark
- Supporting fishery and aquaculture improvements by encouraging unsustainable fisheries and farms to establish credible improvement projects designed to both meet our purchasing policy and result in measurable conservation gains
The Sustainable Seafood video exhibit will be on display at the Academy through 15 October. To view the video and learn more about Safeway's sustainability strategy bringing together people and products in the communities it serves to support a healthier planet visit Safeway's Corporate Social Responsibility website, http://csrsite.safeway.com/whats-new/.