Greenpeace Issues Citation To Trader Joe's For Unsustainable Seafood Practices

Group Visits Local Stores and Launches ‘Traitor Joe’s’ Website Urging Company to Stop Selling Endangered Fish, Help Save Oceans

Media release - July 2, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO – Two days following the release of its third sustainable seafood scorecard profiling major supermarket retailers (http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/releases2/more-than-half-of-leading-u-s), Greenpeace launched a website spoofing Trader Joe’s (http://www.traitorjoe.com) and visited company stores in San Francisco where activists protested the company’s lack of sustainable seafood policies and purchasing practices.

Trader Joes came in 17th out of the 20 stores evaluated in Greenpeace's latest analysis of seafood sustainability policies at major supermarket chains. That is the worst ranking of any national store.

Dressed in Hawaiian shirts similar to those worn by Trader Joe's employees, the Greenpeace activists visited local stores in San Francisco accompanied by two oversized Orange Roughy. Orange Roughy is one of 22 "red-listed" or endangered species listed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Scientific studies indicate that the species has a lifespan of up to 149 years. Once on site, activists erected a voting booth and asked customers to "vote for sustainable seafood" before Greenpeace presented Trader Joe's with a mock citation.

"The good news is that seafood sustainability is now on the radar of many major retailers so we are seeing a shift in practices, but much more progress is needed," said Greenpeace's Senior Markets Campaigner, Casson Trenor. "Unfortunately, our oceans are in crisis and Trader Joe's not only lacks a sustainable seafood policy, it has taken no initiative in this area and continues to sell 15 of the 22 "red list"  species in our report. If Trader Joe's doesn't change their behavior, it's doubtful they will have any fish left to sell in the near future."

As part of its global campaign to ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems, Greenpeace is urging supermarkets to remove the most at-risk species from their shelves. Supermarkets can meet consumer demand for sustainable products by refusing to sell seafood from fisheries that:

- exploit endangered, vulnerable and/or protected species, or species with poor stock status;

- cause habitat destruction and/or lead to ecosystem alterations;

- cause negative impacts on other, non-target species;

- are unregulated, unreported, illegal or managed poorly, and

- cause negative impacts on local, fishing dependent communities.

VVPR info: CONTACT: Jane Kochersperger, Greenpeace Media Officer, (202) 680-3798 cell; Casson Trenor, Greenpeace Senior Markets Campaigner, on site in San Francisco, (415) 269-2587 cell

Notes: Traitor Joe's Twitter Account: http://www.twitter.com/traitorjoes Photos: http://usaphoto.greenpeace.org/20090702traitorjoe/ Greenpeace sustainable seafood scorecard: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/releases2/more-than-half-of-leading-u-s

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