Supermarkets are one of our strongest connections to the oceans. United States consumers buy about half of their seafood at the fish counter, and conservation efforts have often concentrated on the individual shopper. Unfortunately, there is rarely enough information available for consumers to be able to choose sustainable options—rather, the supermarkets themselves must take responsibility and ensure that what they sell is sustainable.
The 2014 Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report evaluates and ranks supermarkets on their sustainable seafood policies. Whole foods and Safeway topped the ranking guide. Four supermarkets -- Roundy's, Bi-Lo, Save Mart and Publix -- failed altogether. Kroger, the fifth biggest food retailer in the world, is exposed for selling the most Red List species of any U.S. grocery chain, for the third consecutive year.
Hy-Vee was evaluated for the first time and immediately entered the top five best performing retailers for sustainable seafood sourcing.
The CATO ratings evaluate retailers using a variety of factors---including the sale of "red list" seafood, engagement with conservation initiatives, transparency of supply, and the establishment of cohesive internal policies--to score each retailer on a scale of 0-10.
"Consumers want to be able to walk into their local grocery store and know that all the options are sustainable."
- James Mitchell, Greenpeace Markets Campaigner.
The CATO report is the product of heightened consumer awareness of the destruction caused by certain seafood items, as well as sustained advocacy by environmental groups.
Download Carting Away the Oceans 2014