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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., Giant-Landover, and Giant-Carlisle yesterday said they were throwing their support behind the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solution's "Common Vision" plan to ensure that the Ahold banners' seafood selection remains sustainable.
Under the plan, the banners have made a commitment to work toward buying environmentally responsible products, making information on their seafood products easily accessible, and backing policy changes that produce positive environmental effects.
Helping the banners carry out the requirements of the Common Vision is the New England Aquarium, with which they have an ongoing partnership. The aquarium provides information on the seafood industry and its impact on the environment, and gives Ahold USA's seafood buyers access to a tool that ranks and compares different species from in habitats around the world. The system takes factors are taken into account including how plentiful the species is, how it's caught, and what effect fishing has on the species' natural habitat.
Since joining forces with the New England Aquarium, Stop & Shop has changed its seafood selling practices to offer the more environmentally friendly Pacific longline-caught cod. The grocer is also in the midst of discontinuing the sale of all species of shark, orange roughy, and Chilean Sea Bass, until the fisheries for those species start to rebound.
"We have access to the kind of knowledge and expertise that allows us to be better informed on what we buy and how it affects the world around us," said Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover's e.v.p. of merchandising and supply chain, Donald Sussman. "We're able to evaluate available seafood and ensure what we purchase is done with full knowledge of how the species are caught, the health of their stocks, and how quickly the species are replenished.
"We also understand that the path to sustainability is a long road, and that we still have a lot of work to do," Sussman continued. "However, through the knowledge we receive from our partners at the New England Aquarium and the guidance from the Common Vision, we know that we are moving in the right direction."
The New England Aquarium will additionally supply the banners with information on seafood sustainability, to better educate shoppers.
"Through this partnership, we'll become a better resource for our customers," said Sussman. "Our associates will be more knowledgeable and able to answer questions, and our customers will be able to make better decisions based on that knowledge."
The Conservation Alliance, which comprises over a dozen conservation organizations, including the New England Aquarium, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Blue Oceans Institute, aims to protect the health of the oceans and the long-term seafood supply by teaming with companies to create and roll out corporate ecologically friendly seafood policies.