Seafood Sustainability

Seafood Sustainability

As one of the country’s largest grocers, Albertsons Companies recognizes its responsibility to protect our natural resources. Protecting our oceans is critical for maintaining the availability of seafood for future generations and the health of our planet.

We are committed to providing our customers with high-quality, sustainable, and traceable seafood from environmentally and socially responsible sources. Through our Responsible Seafood Program, we are working to improve transparency within our seafood supply chain; to protect the oceans; and to provide fair and equitable treatment for the people who depend on them for their livelihoods. 

Our Responsible Seafood Program includes our comprehensive Responsible Seafood Policy and Commitment which covers fresh & frozen seafood, sushi and shelf-stable (i.e. canned) tuna. In addition to our Policy, we created the Responsible Choice™ logo to help our customers identify our sustainable fresh & frozen and shelf-stable tuna offerings.

Responsible Choice: It’s not just a logo, it’s our commitment.

The Responsible Choice logo helps customers identify fresh & frozen seafood and shelf-stable tuna products that are verified as meeting our Responsible Seafood Policy. These products contain seafood that is third-party audited to ensure it has been raised or caught in ways that help safeguard future supplies and keep ecosystems thriving. 

100% of the seafood in our Waterfront BISTRO® and Open Nature® brands now meets our Responsible Seafood Policy and will soon display the Responsible Choice logo. These brands include more than 100 unique items and are carried throughout our nearly 2,300 stores. Check out these great recipes that feature some of our Responsible Choice products.

Our Responsible Seafood Policy

Albertsons Companies’ Responsible Seafood Policy outlines the sustainability standards that our fresh & frozen seafood, sushi, and shelf-stable tuna products must meet.

Our Policy leverages well-established ratings and certifications, as well as fisheries or farms making measurable and time-bound improvements, often called Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). FIPs bring multiple stakeholders together to address management and environmental challenges in a fishery, and by sourcing from FIPs we are supporting groups actively working to make these improvements.

To learn more about our sourcing policies, see our Responsible Seafood Policy and Commitments and our FIPs sourcing requirements.

Meeting our Commitments

Being transparent with our customers about the progress were making towards our Commitments is a key component of our Responsible Seafood Program. Click the down arrow to the right of each category below to learn about the recent progress we have made for each of our Responsible Seafood Commitments.

Fresh & Frozen Seafood

By year-end 2022, 100% of our top 20 wild-caught and farm-raised fresh and our private label frozen seafood will be sourced in compliance with our Responsible Seafood Policy.
 

 

 

We are continuing to increase the amount of responsibly sourced products available to our customers, and as of Fiscal Year 2019, 100% of the seafood in our Waterfront BISTRO® and Open Nature® brands meets our Responsible Seafood Policy. 

Sushi

By year-end 2022, 100% of our top five wild caught and farmed-raised seafood categories used in our prepared sushi will be sourced in compliance with our Responsible Seafood Policy.
 

We continue to make progress toward meeting our goal. Below is the percentage of vendors in compliance with our Responsible Seafood Policy for each category as of March 2020

  • Eel – 100%
  • Tuna - 88%
  • Surimi - 84%
  • Shrimp - 68%
  • Salmon - 44%

Shelf-Stable Tuna

We continually work to imrove the responsibility of our shelf-stable tuna products by sourcing from tuna fisheries in compliance with our Shelf-Stable Tuna Policy.
 

In 2019, we conducted a review of the seafood sources going into our Own Brands shelf-stable tuna products and confirmed that our Open Nature shelf-stable tuna qualifies for our Responsible Choice logo.

In 2019, we also started collecting specific product information to determine if at-sea transshipment was occurring in our tuna supply chain. In 2020, we will continue working with our suppliers to mitigate potential labor risks and increase transparency of our supply chains.

Traceability

We will continue to work toward industry best practices in traceability, including standardized data collection, verification practices, and robust traceability systems for our seafood products and supply chains.
 

Albertsons Companies is the largest retailer in the United States to partner with Trace Register, a third party electronic traceability provider. Through Trace Register, we are now collecting product information from our seafood suppliers on a per shipment basis, giving us assurance that our products are meeting the high standards of our Responsible Seafood Program.

For more details see the Social Responsibility section below.

Social Responsibility

We will continue collaborative efforts with suppliers and other organizations to work toward implementing industry best practices for reducing human tracking and forced labor risks in seafood supply chains.
  In 2019, we made progress on our Traceability and Social Responsibility Commitments by continuing to work through our Due Diligence Plan for traceability, counter-IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing, and social responsibility within our seafood supply chain. These actions include:
  • 160+ Suppliers were sent our Supplier Expectations and Supply Chain Accountability Letter which is regularly updated to stay aligned with best practices.

  • 12 Vendor Meetings were held in March 2019 with some of our biggest fresh & frozen seafood suppliers to discuss traceability, product verification, and social responsibility. Supplier engagement is essential for making progress towards our Top 20 by 2022 Commitment and clarifying that we have a shared responsibility to improve traceability and labor standards in seafood supply chains.

  • 2 Traceability Studies on wild Argentinian shrimp supply chains were started/completed in 2019. By working with our Own Brands Seafood Suppliers, we can gain a better understanding of the practices and policies they have in place to support legality and robust traceability in wild Argentinian shrimp supply chains.

Policy Engagement

 

At Albertsons Companies, we realize that enacting meaningful change to protect our oceans and wellbeing of those whose livelihoods depend on seafood production, requires collaborating with other stakeholders.

   

In 2019, we took actions to address the following industry-wide issues:

  • Reducing plastic use: In 2019, worked together with our seafood suppliers to keep our oceans free from plastic pollution by asking our suppliers to help us meet our Plastics and Packaging Pledge and to reduce the amount of single-use packaging.
  • Improving tuna fisheries management: We are working closely with NGOs, governments, other retailers, and seafood industry stakeholders to promote the long-term sustainability of global tuna stocks by strengthening international fisheries management practices.

At the start of 2020, Albertsons Companies took the following actions to help improve human rights in international seafood supply chains:

  • Individually sent the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) a letter voicing Albertsons Companies support of the inclusion of high seas catch in ILAB’s future “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor and Forced Labor.”

A Partnership that Makes a Difference

The seafood industry is operationally complex with challenges that cannot be overcome by one retail company alone. To accomplish our goals and commitments, we partnered with FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy. FishWise works with us to gather information from our vendors, providing third-party verification that our seafood products meet our policy. Together, we’re leading the way in creating a more sustainable and ethical seafood industry.

Seafood Sustainability