Target Snags Top Score for Sustainable Seafood

OAKLAND, CA — Target has moved up to the number one spot on Greenpeace's supermarket seafood sustainability list as more retailers receive passing scores.

Greenpeace's Carting Away the Oceans report tracks the seafood policies of 20 major supermarket companies, scoring them on seafood policies, what types of seafood they offer, labeling practices and what groups or auditors they work with.

Target jumped from the number 4 spot in the previous list, which was released mid-2009, to the top spot this year, followed by Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, Safeway and Ahold. The bottom five companies are Giant Eagle, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Meijer and H.E.B.

Greenpeace scores companies on a 10-point scale. One-three points is a "fail," four-six points is "pass," and seven-10 points is "good." Last year's list had seven "pass" scores and 13 "fail" scores.

The scorecard, in its fourth edition, is now evenly split between the number of companies with "fail" and "pass" scores, with no company declared "good" yet. But with most of the top companies close to or hovering around scores of six, next year's list is likely to see some "good" companies.

Target snagged the number one spot based on its new seafood standards that eliminate the sale of any farmed salmon, whether it's frozen, fresh or in any other form. The company is still developing a publicly available seafood policy and still serves eight of the 22 species on Greenpeace's seafood red list.

While the increase of companies with "pass" score shows improvement from several companies, others like Walmart made no progress, leaving them to fall behind as others advance. Based on its inactivity, Walmart fell from number seven to number nine, just one spot above Trader Joe's, which made a huge leap from number 17 to number 10.

Greenpeace had specifically targeted Trader Joe's with its Traitor Joe's campaign that went after the company's seafood policies. The supermarket chain has now pledged to only sell sustainable seafood by the end of 2012, is creating a public seafood policy, changed its labels to include seafood origin and catch method, discontinued species like orange roughy and red snapper, and is in talks with a third party organization regarding sustainable decisions.

You can download the report here, or check out the complete rankings, with scores, below:

1. Target, 6.3
2. Wegmans, 6.1
3. Whole Foods Market, 6.0
4. Safeway, 5.8
5. Ahold, 5.8
6. Harris Teeter, 5.1
7. A&P, 4.9
8. Delhaize, 4.5
9. Walmart, 4.3
10. Trader Joe's, 4.0
11. Price Chopper, 4.0
12. ALDI, 3.6
13. Kroger, 3.2
14. Costco, 1.9
15. Supervalu, 1.5
16. Giant Eagle, 1.4
17. Publix, 1.3
18. Winn-Dixie, 1.3
19. Meijer, 1.0
20. H.E. Butt, 0.8


Red snapper - / CC BY-SA 2.0