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Safeway Inc. has leapt up three places on Greenpeace’s annual seafood sustainability report, snatching the top position from last year’s top-rated retailer Target and surpassing specialty grocers Whole Foods and Wegmans.
This week’s release of the fifth “Carting Away the Oceans” report marks a dramatic shift from what Greenpeace describes as an “abysmal status quo” three years ago.
“The fact that we have now seen such a wide variety of retailers lead the pack – from organic specialty retailers and high end stores to big-box retailers to one of the biggest national chains in the country – just emphasizes that sustainability is not a niche luxury trend, but an important response to customer demand and responsible retailing,” said Casson Trenor, Greenpeace’s senior markets campaigner. “It’s an amazing testament to the ongoing pressure from consumers, supporters and activists that in just three years, we’ve gone from a situation where all 20 major U.S. retailers assessed failed, to today, when 15 retailers have now achieved a passing score.”
Trenor added: “Other great advances include more and more retailers refusing to stock one of the most vulnerable fish stocks on earth, the orange roughy, and two retailers – Safeway and Wegmans – publicly supporting a no-take marine reserve in the last pristine ocean on earth, Antarctica’s Ross Sea.”
Trenor noted that no large retailers have achieved a “green” score in the Greenpeace Seafood Sustainability Ranking. “We are cheered by the great progress, but until retailers acknowledge their role in destroying our oceans and in propagating environmentally damaging aquaculture, consumers will struggle to find a truly responsible seafood merchant,” he remarked.