Trader Joe’s gets a Little Greener

Feature story - March 29, 2010
The future of our oceans became a little bit brighter as Trader Joe’s agreed to "green-up their stores" by implementing sustainable seafood policies.

Trader Joe's gets greener

For months, Greenpeace publicly campaigned to pressure Trader Joe's to adopt sustainable seafood purchasing policies throughout all of their stores.

Greenpeace applauds the supermarket chain for finally seeing the light and working towards sustainable seafood policies that will help save the oceans and put an end to destructive fishing practices.

Prior to this announcement, Trader Joe's came in 17th out of the 20 stores evaluated in Greenpeace's analysis of seafood sustainability policies at major supermarket chains. That was the worst ranking attained by any national chain.

Trader Joe's felt the heat from Greenpeace's mock website (www.traitorjoe.com), relentless phone calls from supporters, thoughtful karaoke songs from shoppers and in-store demonstrations and questions to store managers from activists across the country. 

Trading Destruction for Conservation

Trader Joe's has removed many unsustainable products from its shelves, including the highly objectionable orange roughy that it sold for several years.  

Specifically, Trader Joe's has announced that they will:

  • Offer only sustainable seafood in their stores by December 31, 2012.
  • Work with third-party, science-based organizations to establish definitions and parameters for addressing customer concerns about overfishing, destructive catch or production methods, and the importance of marine reserves.
  • Remove "red-listed" seafood from their shelves. Trader Joe's stopped selling Chilean Sea Bass in 2005, Orange Roughy in July of 2009, and Red Snapper in March of 2010.
  • Provide accurate information on all seafood labels, including species' Latin names, origin and catch or production method.
  • Use their buying power to leverage change in the seafood industry.

Greenpeace is hopeful that Trader Joe's will continue implementing a comprehensive sustainable seafood purchasing policy to ensure they have a road map for staying green long into the future.

Consumers Demand Sustainable Seafood

In talking with environmentalists, activists and avid seafood shoppers Greenpeace discovered a common link-they all want sustainable seafood in supermarkets and are willing to speak up for the oceans.

Greenpeace is poised to release the fourth edition of their supermarket scorecard, Carting Away the Oceans. The report is updated several times of year based on an analysis of sustainable seafood policies and practices among major retailers. The Trader Joe's announcement and previous announcements from Target and Safeway are sure to shake up the rankings and raise the bar.  

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