Albertsons Cos. has added a “Top 5 by 2022” sushi commitment to its Responsible Seafood Program as part of the food retailer's ongoing efforts to advance seafood sustainability at all of its stores.
Developed as part of a continuing partnership between the Boise, Idaho-based grocer and nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy FishWise, the sushi commitment focuses on ensuring the top five wild and farm-raised seafood species used for sushi will meet the company’s strict Responsible Seafood Policy by the end of 2022, laying out plans to transition tuna, farmed salmon, species of whitefish used to make surimi (imitation crab), and farmed shrimp to responsible sources. Moreover, the company pledges to discontinue the sale of unagi (eel) until sustainable sources become available: Currently, wild eel can't be bred in captivity, and their declining populations have led to poaching activities in certain regions.
The commitment means that these frequently used sushi ingredients will be at least one of the following:
- Rated Green (best choice) or Yellow (good alternative) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program
- Certified to an equivalent environmental standard
- Sourced from fisheries or farms making measurable and time-bound improvements
“Sushi represents a large and growing opportunity for retailers to affect positive change in seafood sustainability,” said Lori Dupre, director of retail support, deli prepared food at Albertsons Cos.. “We’re proud to be a leader and help start this transformation that will maintain the viability of various fish species and their ecosystems.”
Other seafood sustainability initiatives that Albertsons Cos. has made in roughly the past year include the grocer's ensuring in late 2016 that all of its top 20 wild and farmed seafood items will meet its Responsible Seafood Policy by the end of 2022, and its announcement in May that it would be the first big retailer to sell Fair Trade Certified scallops.
Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 20 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal-kit company Plated.