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Western Canadian grocery wholesaler Federated Co-operatives, Ltd. (FCL) and SeaChoice, a Canada-wide sustainable seafood program, have joined forces to make it easier for the co-op’s shoppers to buy seafood sourced from environmentally friendly fisheries and aquaculture operations.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based FCL, which is owned by about 260 retail co-ops throughout western Canada, will work with SeaChoice to assess the co-op’s seafood supply against sustainability criteria, enhance sustainable seafood procurement, and educate employees and customers on sustainable seafood options.
According to Bill Wareham, SeaChoice representative and marine conservation specialist for the David Suzuki Foundation, the partnership with FCL helps the company “take action that promotes ocean-friendly seafood and minimizes sales of products that harm the marine environment. The future of our oceans depends on initiatives like this that help protect wild fish stocks and the web of life in the marine environments.”
Under the new commitment, FCL and SeaChoice will develop and implement a six-point sustainability plan for the procurement and sale of seafood in its stores. The retailer has pledged to offer customers sustainable seafood options and reducing the procurement of unsustainable seafood; provide transparency and traceability information on seafood products sold at its co-op stores, collect and share information on seafood sustainability procurement and sales; educate its employees, suppliers and customers on sustainable seafood; and urge policymakers and seafood producers to improve and develop laws, regulations and certification systems supporting the production of environmentally friendly seafood.
As part of its early efforts to adopt a sustainable seafood policy, FCL will work to identify seafood choices for its customers that meet the SeaChoice “Best Choice” list criteria, which is available online at www.seachoice.org.
Other retailers working with SeaChoice include Langley, British Columbia-based Overwaitea Food Group (OFG), which runs 117 stores in western Canada.
A national initiative operated by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club BC, working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, Vancouver, British Columbia-based SeaChoice provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood to Canadian consumers, fishermen, chefs and businesses.