- Albertsons has rolled out responsibly sourced sushi across its banners, meeting its Responsible Seafood Policy goal 18 months ahead of schedule, the grocer announced on Friday.
- The company set a goal in 2018 of sourcing its salmon, tuna, shrimp and imitation crab from suppliers that meet the company’s Responsible Seafood Policy by the end of 2022. As part of the goal, the grocer also said it would stop using eel in sushi, which it achieved in 2019.
- The sushi announcement is the latest among ongoing efforts by Albertsons and other grocers to focus on seafood sustainability.
With its new sustainable sourcing for sushi, all of the salmon, tuna, shrimp and imitation crab Albertsons sources for its sushi is either sourced from places “making measurable and time-bound improvements" toward sustainability; rated green or yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; or certified to an equivalent environmental standard, per its announcement.
Albertsons said it discontinued eel from its sushi selections for the time being because of the negative impacts farm raising eel has on the oceans and species, and because wild eel populations are quickly declining. Last year, the grocer's Open Nature and Waterfront Bistro brands achieved their Responsible Seafood Policy goals 2.5 years ahead of schedule.
As part of its seafood sustainability goals, Albertsons is also focusing on traceability and social responsibility. The company is currently working with its sushi vendors and FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consulting firm, on a traceability project to make sure tuna fishing boats in its sushi supply chain follow international fishing laws and industry best practices.
Other grocers have also recently announced seafood sustainability goals as the industry bolsters environmental efforts. In May, Publix rolled out land-raised Bluehouse Salmon across its seven-state footprint — a partnership that originated last fall that grocer said would reduce its carbon footprint and support innovation in farming technologies. Last fall, Giant Food joined the Ocean Disclosure Project, which helps retailers like Meijer, Publix, Sam’s Club and others report their sustainable seafood sourcing methods.