Stop & Shop Brings Aquarium's Expert Along for Sustainable Seafood Purchasing

Stop & Shop Brings Aquarium's Expert Along for Sustainable Seafood Purchasing

When do seafood retailers and aquariums work together best? Although a tank-to-plate joke might seem the obvious answer, grocery chain Stop & Shop highlights a more practical method.
On a recent purchasing trip to Indonesia and Thailand, Stop & Shop brought along one of the New England Aquarium's shrimp specialists to help identify and spread the word about best practices in sustainable shrimp among the grocery's suppliers.

"This initiative is an important tool for ocean conservation and we are proud of the steps Stop & Shop is undertaking," Lydia Bergen, Director of Conservation at the New England Aquarium, said in a statement. "Changes in purchasing habits such as Stop & Shop has demonstrated will make a difference in the health of ocean ecosystems."

Stop & Shop has been working on its environmental footprint for some time; in 2005 and 2006, the company took part in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' supermarket recycling programs, which can save grocers tens of thousands of dollars a year by composting and recycling organic waste.

And Ahold USA, the parent company of Stop & Shop, was recently applauded by Greenpeace for its sustainable seafood procurement practices -- the environmental group's annual scorecard put Ahold in second place for its conscientious purchasing policies.

Stop & Shop has developed a 10-point policy for its seafood purchasing and sales that uses social, ecological, and economic considerations. As a result of that policy, the company no longer sells Chilean sea bass, orange roughy or any species of shark, all of which are endangered, overfished or both.