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2018 Supermarket Seafood Ranking

How does your favorite supermarket rank?

We ranked 22 major U.S. supermarkets based on the sustainability and social responsibility of their seafood. We also looked at how supermarkets advocate for ocean health, protect seafood workers’ rights, and address the plastic pollution crisis.

If you’re going to buy seafood, make sure it is sustainable and ethical.

How the Supermarkets Ranked

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  1. Policy Winner Badge Canned Tuna Badge

    #1 Whole Foods Market

    Overall Score

    80.4

    Policy: 94.3

    Initiatives: 88.4

    Transparency: 76

    Inventory: 63

    Stores & Banners

    Whole Foods Market • Whole Foods Market 365

    Score Breakdown

    Whole Foods continues its reign as the top-ranked supermarket for sustainable seafood. From launching its new tuna policy, which ensures that all canned tuna sold in stores is sustainably caught, to calling for sustainable fisheries management, Whole Foods continues to prioritize sustainable seafood.

    Policy: Whole Foods’ seafood policy is largely based on Seafood Watch recommendations and its own standards for farmed seafood. Its canned tuna policy is the strongest among supermarkets nationwide, providing customers with sustainable tuna.

    Initiatives: Whole Foods advocates for sustainable fisheries management and works to avoid seafood caught from illegal fishing. Whole Foods must urgently address labor and human rights abuses in the seafood industry and reduce its single-use plastics footprint.

    Transparency: Whole Foods features prominent signage, including color-coded sustainability labels, to inform customers about sustainable seafood options. The supermarket also provides plentiful information online regarding its seafood standards.

    Inventory: While Whole Foods has several sustainable seafood products, it still sells Chilean sea bass and bigeye tuna—two species that do not belong on shelves because of sustainability and/or illegal fishing concerns.

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  2. Initiatives Winner  Badge Transparency Winner Badge Canned Tuna Badge

    #2 Hy-Vee

    Overall Score

    79.8

    Policy: 80.6

    Initiatives: 89.5

    Transparency: 78

    Inventory: 71

    Stores & Banners

    Hy-Vee • Hy-Vee Drugstore

    Score Breakdown

    This Midwest retailer has made a name for itself in sustainable seafood. Hy-Vee advocates for ocean health with decision makers and educates its customers about sustainable seafood. Hy-Vee should support legally binding agreements for workers’ rights in the seafood industry.

    Policy: Hy-Vee strives to sell seafood that is green or yellow rated by Seafood Watch, an equivalent certification, or in a time-bound improvement project. All Hy-Vee brand canned tuna is sustainably sourced—Hy-Vee should follow Whole Foods and ensure that any national brand products it sells are sustainable too. Hy-Vee needs a comprehensive public policy on labor and human rights.

    Initiatives: Hy-Vee audits its supply chains for sustainability, traceability, and social compliance, to see if any vessels that supply Hy-Vee seafood are linked to illegal fishing, and is identifying how to address problem practices like transshipment at sea. Hy-Vee needs to announce bold commitments to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Hy-Vee’s Seafoodies blog educates its customers on sustainable seafood and even advises them which species to avoid. Its staff are trained to answer sustainability questions. Hy-Vee places a “Responsible Choice” label on seafood that meets its sustainability standards.

    Inventory: Greenpeace commends Hy-Vee for avoiding Chilean sea bass for sustainability reasons, and communicating this policy to its customers. Hy-Vee’s inventory score decreased after it reintroduced Atlantic cod.

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  3. #3 ALDI

    Overall Score

    71.9

    Policy: 75.6

    Initiatives: 68.4

    Transparency: 71.5

    Inventory: 72

    Score Breakdown

    ALDI earned a spot in the green category for the first time ever. ALDI recently launched its own sustainable line canned tuna and has advocated for better management of tuna fisheries. Especially as ALDI expands nationwide, it must immediately reduce its single-use plastic footprint.

    Policy: ALDI has a sustainable seafood policy, was among the first U.S. supermarkets to release a canned tuna policy, and has social standards as well.

    Initiatives: ALDI advocates for sustainable fisheries management and has standards to reduce risks of illegal fishing and human rights abuses associated with transshipment at sea, although to help address other serious labor issues, it should support legally binding agreements to protect seafood workers’ rights. ALDI appears to be identifying ways to address single-use plastics.

    Transparency: ALDI provides significantly more information on seafood packaging than most supermarkets, such as the species’ scientific name and catch method. ALDI also shares its detailed policies online.

    Inventory: ALDI scores higher than most retailers, in part because it carries a limited variety of seafood. While ALDI sells more sustainable skipjack and yellowfin tuna, it must improve its albacore, which is caught by destructive longlines.

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  4. #4 Target

    Overall Score

    70.8

    Policy: 78.3

    Initiatives: 73.3

    Transparency: 59.5

    Inventory: 72

    Stores & Banners

    Target • CityTarget • TargetExpress

    Score Breakdown

    Target has relatively strong policies and advocates for ocean health. Unfortunately, with the reintroduction of farmed salmon in stores, Target recently broke its 2010 commitment to only sell sustainable wild-caught salmon.

    Policy: Target strives to sell seafood that is green or yellow rated by Seafood Watch, an equivalent certification, or in a time-bound improvement project. Target is working to transition its unsustainable canned tuna products to sources that meet its policy.

    Initiatives: Target participates in various initiatives for ocean health and human rights, although it should call for legally binding agreements to protect seafood workers’ rights. Target works to avoid PVC and polystyrene packaging in its own brands, but must do much more to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Target has finally devoted some on-package labeling and in-store signage to sustainability messaging, and provides some information online.

    Inventory: While Target scores rather well in this section, it is in part due to its limited variety of seafood sold. While the retailer does not sell orange roughy or Chilean sea bass, its score dropped following its regrettable decision to reintroduce farmed salmon.

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  5. Improvement Badge

    #5 Giant Eagle

    Overall Score

    69.4

    Policy: 73.8

    Initiatives: 76.7

    Transparency: 74

    Inventory: 53

    Stores & Banners

    Giant Eagle • Giant Eagle Express • Market District • Market District Express • GetGo

    Score Breakdown

    Giant Eagle continues to improve; just a few years ago it was ranked 16th. The retailer has focused on sustainable seafood and advocacy initiatives, but must stop selling orange roughy and Chilean sea bass.

    Policy: Giant Eagle has a sustainable seafood policy and largely relies on eco-certifications, which cannot guarantee sustainable, ethical seafood. It was the first U.S. retailer to release a detailed canned tuna policy.

    Initiatives: Giant Eagle supports sustainable fisheries management and improvements with its suppliers. Given rampant labor and human rights abuses, Giant Eagle should support legally binding agreements that protect seafood workers’ rights. Giant Eagle needs a comprehensive single-use plastic reduction policy to address its contribution to the global plastics crisis.

    Transparency: Giant Eagle has made some data on its wild-caught sourcing available online. While encouraging, it must ensure that all data on seafood it sources, including farmed, is available.

    Inventory: This is Giant Eagle’s weakest category. Similar to some other retailers, it over-relies on eco-certifications, which do not necessarily ensure that seafood is ethical or sustainable. Giant Eagle should immediately stop selling orange roughy and Chilean sea bass.

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  6. Wrong Way Badge

    #6 Wegmans

    Overall Score

    67.1

    Policy: 75.9

    Initiatives: 76.6

    Transparency: 74

    Inventory: 42

    Score Breakdown

    Wegmans dropped from second to sixth place following its jaw-dropping decision to procure both orange roughy and farmed Pacific bluefin tuna (for special events). Greenpeace urges Wegmans to heed the warnings from other NGOs and scientists regarding these species and stop purchasing them.

    Policy: Wegmans has a sustainable seafood policy largely based on eco-certifications. Its standards for farmed seafood could use clarification. Wegmans should fully commit to not selling GMO seafood.

    Initiatives: Wegmans has traceability standards to help avoid illegally caught seafood, but it needs to publicly share its social standards and support legally binding agreements to protect seafood workers’ rights. Wegmans has tested packaging innovations to reduce its reliance on plastics; however, it does not have a strong, public commitment to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Wegmans’ website features a substantial amount of policy information and some information about farmed seafood. Wegmans uses direct mail, in-store signage, and product demos to promote sustainable seafood.

    Inventory: Wegmans’ inventory score plummeted following its introduction of orange roughy and farmed Pacific bluefin tuna (available only at special events). These species are so imperiled that they should not be commercially available. Wegmans must stop purchasing and/or selling them immediately.

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  7. #7 Albertsons Companies

    Overall Score

    67

    Policy: 76.5

    Initiatives: 81.3

    Transparency: 72.5

    Inventory: 38

    Stores & Banners

    Albertsons • Safeway • Vons • Jewel-Osco • Shaw’s • Acme • Tom Thumb • Randalls • United Supermarkets • Pavilions • Star Market • Carrs • Haggen

    Score Breakdown

    Albertsons Companies (“Albertsons”) is working toward a goal where nearly all of its seafood will meet its sustainability policy by 2022. Unfortunately, Albertsons outright failed the inventory category, clearly indicating where it needs to improve.

    Policy: Albertsons strives to sell seafood that is green or yellow rated by Seafood Watch, an equivalent certification, or in a time-bound improvement project. The retailer has also publicly stated that it will not carry GMO salmon.

    Initiatives: Albertsons is focusing on traceability and ways to address problem practices like transshipment at sea, which is linked to illegal fishing and human rights abuses. Albertsons should support legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights and publicly announce a strong plan to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Albertsons is working to publicly promote its sustainability initiatives and educate its customers through a variety of online methods. Albertsons’ in-store labeling for customers is a bit sparse.

    Inventory: Albertsons must improve its inventory. Greenpeace applauds Albertsons for discontinuing eel, given sustainability concerns and illegal activity associated with the eel trade. Albertsons should lead with this same principled approach and immediately discontinue orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, and bigeye tuna.

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  8. #8 Sprouts Farmers Market

    Overall Score

    65.4

    Policy: 70.5

    Initiatives: 62

    Transparency: 62

    Inventory: 67

    Score Breakdown

    Sprouts performed admirably in its Carting Away the Oceans debut. It is investing in various education initiatives about its sustainable seafood. Sprouts needs to publicly advocate for better fisheries management and seafood workers’ rights, and make public commitments to phase out single-use plastics.

    Policy: Sprouts has a new sustainable seafood policy. It should consider, however, the shortcomings of eco-certifications, which alone will not ensure sustainable, ethical seafood. Two-thirds of Sprouts’ private label canned tuna is pole and line, with a goal of 100% by end of 2019. Sprouts will not sell GMO seafood.

    Initiatives: Sprouts has some standards to reduce illegal fishing and human rights risks associated with transshipment at sea; it should also support legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights. It is unclear whether Sprouts has advocated for improvements in fisheries management. Sprouts needs a comprehensive, public plan to reduce single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Sprouts has yet to robustly engage its customers either online or in stores about its sustainable seafood policy and products. Fortunately, Sprouts is launching a communications plan and will also label certain products with sustainability information.

    Inventory: Sprouts performed better than most retailers in this category. It does not carry several red list species, including orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, shark, and bigeye tuna. Sprouts has a goal to sell only sustainable pole and line tuna for its own brand canned tuna products by 2019.

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  9. #9 Ahold Delhaize

    Overall Score

    64.1

    Policy: 75.5

    Initiatives: 63.9

    Transparency: 66

    Inventory: 51

    Stores & Banners

    Stop & Shop • Giant • Martin’s • Food Lion • Hannaford

    Score Breakdown

    Ahold Delhaize is one of the larger U.S. supermarket chains. While it has some sustainable seafood standards, it needs to consistently apply them and to lead on issues such as such as reducing its single-use plastic footprint.

    Policy: Ahold Delhaize has a sustainable seafood policy, which relies on at least seven different groups for its wild-caught seafood standards. Unfortunately, this hodgepodge of sustainability requirements can sometimes create loopholes that enable retailers to sell unsustainable seafood. Ahold Delhaize must simplify its standards and strengthen its tuna policy.

    Initiatives: Ahold Delhaize has some traceability and social responsibility initiatives, but it should go further by supporting legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights. The retailer should adopt much stronger standards to mitigate the illegal fishing and human rights risks linked to transshipment at sea. Ahold Delhaize must also release strong public commitments to reduce its single-use plastics footprint.

    Transparency: Ahold Delhaize’s stores conduct staff trainings and feature its seafood policy online to engage customers in sustainable seafood questions. Ahold Delhaize features in-store signage that includes QR codes for traceability purposes, and notes “sustainable choice” products for customers.

    Inventory: This is Ahold Delhaize’s weakest category. Unfortunately, it has discontinued its sustainable own brand canned tuna products. Rather than getting rid of sustainable seafood, Ahold Delhaize should stop selling red list species like Chilean sea bass.

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  10. Canned Tuna Badge

    #10 Meijer

    Overall Score

    62.3

    Policy: 70.4

    Initiatives: 57.5

    Transparency: 58.5

    Inventory: 63

    Stores & Banners

    Meijer • Bridge Street Market

    Score Breakdown

    Meijer is working to improve its sustainable seafood policy and sells only sustainable canned tuna under its own brand. Meijer performed relatively well in the inventory category, although it must improve on Atlantic salmon. The retailer needs to increase its public advocacy for sustainable fisheries management.

    Policy: While it has improved some sourcing, Meijer’s sustainable seafood policy is largely based on eco-certifications that will not guarantee sustainable, ethical seafood. As Meijer updates its seafood policy, it should account for these gaps and reaffirm its public commitment to avoid selling GMO seafood.

    Initiatives: Meijer has some traceability initiatives and works to stop seafood fraud. The retailer needs to be clearer about how it advocates for ocean health and seafood workers’ rights. Meijer must comprehensively work to phase out single-use plastics, since its efforts to shift to more recyclable plastics alone will not solve the problem.

    Transparency: Meijer promotes sustainable seafood and provides some traceability information online, but needs to do far more to communicate to customers at the point of sale.

    Inventory: Meijer performed better than many retailers in this category; in fact, all of its own brand canned tuna is sustainably caught. However, Meijer should stop selling bigeye and tongol tuna, and improve its farmed salmon sourcing.

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  11. Improvement Badge

    #11 Kroger

    Overall Score

    61.4

    Policy: 72.5

    Initiatives: 69.5

    Transparency: 61.5

    Inventory: 42

    Stores & Banners

    Kroger • Ralphs • Dillons • Smith’s • King Soopers • Fry’s • QFC • City Market • Owen’s • Jay C • Pay Less • Baker’s • Gerbes • Harris Teeter • Pick ‘n Save • Copps • Metro Market • Mariano’s • Fred Meyer • Food 4 Less • Foods Co

    Score Breakdown

    Kroger has made progress toward its sustainable seafood goals and advocates for better fisheries management. Kroger must improve in the inventory category—it still sells orange roughy, which even its NGO partner WWF agrees is problematic. As plastic pollution continues to choke our oceans, this behemoth retailer must reduce its reliance on single-use plastics.

    Policy: Kroger has a sustainable seafood policy, but it largely relies on eco-certifications, which cannot guarantee sustainable, ethical seafood. Kroger’s canned tuna policy is weak; it relies on low-bar standards that do not ensure sustainable tuna, and fails to comprehensively address problem practices like transshipment at sea.

    Initiatives: Kroger uses its buying power with its seafood suppliers to address sustainability and labor abuse concerns. In addition, Kroger should support legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights. Because recycling alone will not solve the plastics crisis, Kroger needs to unveil a robust, ambitious plan to reduce its reliance on single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Kroger has public sustainability goals and provides detailed updates online. While Kroger has in-store promotion of its sustainability goals, it must do more to provide product traceability information that is accessible to customers in stores.

    Inventory: Kroger sells orange roughy, bigeye tuna, and Chilean sea bass—three species that should not be sold by any retailer committed to seafood sustainability. Its canned tuna assortment is gravely lacking in sustainable options.

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  12. #12 SUPERVALU

    Overall Score

    60.4

    Policy: 70.2

    Initiatives: 57.9

    Transparency: 49.5

    Inventory: 64

    Stores & Banners

    Cub Foods • Shoppers Food & Pharmacy • Hornbacher’s • Rainbow

    Score Breakdown

    SUPERVALU has a moderately robust seafood policy and should improve on initiatives and transparency. SUPERVALU needs to swiftly address shelf-stable tuna and social responsibility, and more transparently communicate traceability to its customers.

    Policy: SUPERVALU’s policy outsources its standards to eco-certifications. While these can be helpful, SUPERVALU must consider their shortcomings, as eco-certifications cannot fully guarantee sustainable, ethical seafood. The company’s canned tuna policy is weak and allows destructively caught tuna to be sold.

    Initiatives: SUPERVALU is developing social standards and has advocated for better tuna fisheries management. But its weak industry-influenced tuna standards will not ensure sustainability or address the problematic practice of transshipment at sea. SUPERVALU must release a comprehensive public policy to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: SUPERVALU needs to improve its communication of traceability and sustainability information to its customers, particularly at the point of sale. Encouragingly, SUPERVALU features a QR code linked to some information on its Essential Everyday and sustainable pole and line Wild Harvest products.

    Inventory: Greenpeace commends SUPERVALU for refusing to carry Chilean sea bass and orange roughy, and for selling sustainable yellowfin and albacore tuna. However, SUPERVALU must fix its destructively caught skipjack tuna and its poor sourcing of Atlantic halibut and farmed shrimp.

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  13. #13 Walmart

    Overall Score

    60

    Policy: 66.9

    Initiatives: 50.2

    Transparency: 63

    Inventory: 60

    Stores & Banners

    Walmart • Walmart Supercenter • Neighborhood Market • Sam’s Club

    Score Breakdown

    Walmart is making progress on its underwhelming sustainable seafood goals. Unfortunately, Walmart’s policies rely heavily on eco-certifications and industry-friendly standards that fall short of true leadership. Walmart is inadequately addressing the plastics crisis and, as the world’s largest retailer, must urgently improve its performance.

    Policy: Walmart has achieved compliance for most of its seafood goals; however, it has until 2025 to comply with its lackluster canned tuna policy, which will not ensure sustainable, ethical tuna. Walmart must account for the pitfalls of incomplete eco-certifications.

    Initiatives: Walmart works with various groups on traceability, social compliance, and to promote sustainable fisheries management. Walmart must address problem practices like transshipment at sea and support legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights. Walmart has an enormous global footprint and must act swiftly to phase out its reliance on single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Walmart publicly shares sourcing information for some of its wild-caught seafood. Walmart should now take this opportunity to share all of its seafood sourcing information. Walmart has a fair amount of policy information online and provides some signage for customers in stores, but it could improve.

    Inventory: Walmart does not sell orange roughy and Chilean sea bass. It must improve its canned tuna, as only a small portion is sourced sustainably, and further improve its sourcing of farmed salmon and shrimp.

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  14. Inventory Winner Badge Wrong Way Badge

    #14 Trader Joe's

    Overall Score

    58.1

    Policy: 70.7

    Initiatives: 50.8

    Transparency: 36

    Inventory: 75

    Score Breakdown

    Trader Joe’s made major improvements years ago, but today it continues to drop due to its limited transparency. Unlike most retailers, Trader Joe’s does not have a formal, public seafood policy. Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s still performs well in inventory, selling few red list species.

    Policy: The last major update from Trader Joe’s on its sustainable seafood initiatives was in 2013. While Greenpeace commends Trader Joe’s for its efforts to discontinue the sale of several red list species, years later, it is time for Trader Joe’s to release a formal, public policy.

    Initiatives: Trader Joe’s stopped selling Mexican shrimp after a campaign led by dozens of NGOs to save the vaquita. Trader Joe’s needs strong social standards that also support legally binding agreements to protect seafood workers’ rights. Given the copious amount plastics wrapped around Trader Joe’s products, it must announce a strong, public policy to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Trader Joe’s has limited sustainability information at the point of sale, aside from labeling the fishing method on some of its canned tuna products. Trader Joe’s must be more transparent with the public about its sourcing policies and initiatives.

    Inventory: Greenpeace commends Trader Joe’s for refusing to sell orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, bigeye tuna, or shark. Nonetheless, questions remain regarding the sustainability of its farmed salmon and shrimp, and whether it will improve its albacore tuna, which is caught by destructive longlines.

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  15. #15 Costco

    Overall Score

    56.2

    Policy: 67.8

    Initiatives: 57.4

    Transparency: 45.5

    Inventory: 54

    Score Breakdown

    Costco’s overall ranking remains unchanged as other retailers climb higher. Costco has an opportunity and responsibility to use its size and brand to tackle plastic pollution and confront human rights abuses in seafood supply chains.

    Policy: Costco’s seafood policy includes a commitment to not sell GMO salmon. Greenpeace urges Costco to go beyond eco-certifications and weak tuna standards that do not ensure sustainable, ethical seafood, especially problem practices like transshipment at sea, which is linked to illegal activity and human rights abuses.

    Initiatives: Costco is a founding member of the Seafood Task Force, and must use its influence to create results that protect seafood workers’ rights. Costco is developing a plastics packaging policy, which Greenpeace hopes will end Costco’s packaging of produce in plastic containers.

    Transparency: Costco can most improve in this category. Its minimalist approach with store layouts and packaging makes it difficult for customers to know which products are sustainable.

    Inventory: In 2011, Costco stopped selling red list species like orange roughy and Chilean sea bass. Unfortunately, with some eco-certified options now available, Costco reintroduced Chilean sea bass and has stopped selling its own brand of sustainable tuna. Instead of discontinuing the sale of sustainable products, Costco should stop selling imperiled species such as Chilean sea bass.

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  16. Improvement Badge

    #16 Southeastern Grocers

    Overall Score

    54.3

    Policy: 61.7

    Initiatives: 47.6

    Transparency: 51

    Inventory: 57

    Stores & Banners

    Bi-Lo • Harveys Supermarket • Winn-Dixie • Fresco y Más

    Score Breakdown

    Southeastern Grocers (SEG) received a passing score for the first time. While it still has significant work ahead, the retailer is on the right track and must continue, for healthy oceans and seafood workers’ rights.

    Policy: SEG’s policy focuses on farmed seafood; it now needs to incorporate wild-caught seafood and ban any sales of GMO seafood. Given the ongoing labor and human rights abuses in the seafood industry, SEG should strengthen and publicly share its social standards.

    Initiatives: SEG works with various groups on seafood sustainability, including the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) for tuna. SEG should advocate for sustainable fisheries management and support legally binding agreements for seafood workers’ rights. SEG also needs to release a public plan to phase out its reliance on single-use plastics.

    Transparency: SEG continues to promote sustainable products to its customers. It publicly promoted joining IPNLF and launching its canned pole and line albacore tuna product. SEG must expand its information available at the point of sale and online.

    Inventory: SEG has improved markedly in recent years after phasing out orange roughy, shark, and monkfish for sustainability reasons. SEG must discontinue Chilean sea bass, and ensure that all canned tuna (its own brand and national brands) is sustainably sourced.

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  17. Improvement Badge

    #17 Publix

    Alert Icon

    Did not respond

    Overall Score

    48.1

    Policy: 54.3

    Initiatives: 49.8

    Transparency: 62.5

    Inventory: 26

    Stores & Banners

    Publix • Publix Sabor • Publix GreenWise Market

    Score Breakdown

    Publix finally achieved a passing score, ten years after Greenpeace started evaluating supermarkets on seafood sustainability. Much of its improvement is a result of transparency initiatives. Publix must stop selling orange roughy, shark, and tongol tuna.

    Policy: Publix’s seafood policy does not provide Greenpeace with enough specifics to fully assess its standards. Publix’s reliance on weak industry-influenced tuna standards will not ensure sustainability or adequately address significant labor issues associated with practices like transshipment at sea.

    Initiatives: Publix supports fisheries improvement projects and participates in various industry initiatives on labor and human rights. However, Publix must go further by supporting legally binding agreements that protect seafood workers’ rights. Publix should also prioritize releasing strong public commitments to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Publix was the first U.S. retailer to disclose some of its wild sourcing information via the Ocean Disclosure Project. Greenpeace commends this transparency and encourages Publix to now provide all of its seafood sourcing information. Publix should improve its sustainable seafood information in stores.

    Inventory: Publix failed in this category. Many species that Publix sells are red listed for good reason (e.g., bycatch, poor management, habitat destruction). Publix must immediately stop selling orange roughy, shark, tongol tuna, and Chilean sea bass.

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  18. #18 WinCo

    Overall Score

    47.2

    Policy: 51.5

    Initiatives: 40

    Transparency: 32.5

    Inventory: 65

    Stores & Banners

    WinCo Foods • Waremart by WinCo

    Score Breakdown

    WinCo continues to steadily improve on sustainable seafood. It must use its brand and purchasing power to publicly call for improvements in the seafood industry, particularly as labor and human rights abuses remain rampant and the plastic pollution crisis worsens.

    Policy: WinCo has a sustainable seafood policy for some of its seafood; it should expand this policy to cover all of its seafood and incorporate its commitment not to sell GMO seafood. Unlike many retailers that sell eco-certified seafood, WinCo has additional measures to account for gaps in those certification schemes.

    Initiatives: WinCo must publicly share its social standards and include measures to reduce risks of illegal fishing and human rights abuses linked to transshipment at sea. As the plastics crisis worsens, WinCo must share its plan to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: While WinCo performed poorly in this category, change is coming. WinCo provides some information at the point of sale for farmed seafood and is working to make its seafood policy available online and accessible in stores via QR codes.

    Inventory: WinCo does not sell Chilean sea bass and bigeye tuna, although it carries orange roughy in a small percentage of stores. Greenpeace urges WinCo to stop selling orange roughy and ensure that all tuna sold in stores (WinCo brand or national brand) is sustainable.

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  19. Wrong Way Badge

    #19 H-E-B

    Alert Icon

    Did not respond

    Overall Score

    46.4

    Policy: 59.5

    Initiatives: 37.7

    Transparency: 52.5

    Inventory: 36

    Stores & Banners

    H-E-B • H-E-B Plus! • Mi Tienda • Joe V’s Smart Shop • Central Market

    Score Breakdown

    While it has some promising standards, H-E-B has made questionable moves like reintroducing orange roughy. Also, significant questions remain about H-E-B’s efforts to ensure seafood workers’ rights and to phase out single-use plastics.

    Policy: H-E-B’s seafood policy clearly explains its core principles. H-E-B stipulates when it will not sell seafood because of sustainability concerns and does not sell GMO seafood. It is unclear whether H-E-B has canned tuna standards or a policy regarding labor and human rights.

    Initiatives: While H-E-B supports local seafood and prioritizes traceability, it must do more. H-E-B needs strong standards to mitigate the legality and human rights risks associated with transshipment at sea, and to support efforts to create legally binding agreements for workers’ rights. H-E-B must also release a public plan to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Greenpeace commends H-E-B for providing detailed information online about some of its seafood sold in stores; however, H-E-B should detail all seafood sold and increase its sustainability information at the point of sale.

    Inventory: H-E-B continues to sell several problematic species. Given the level of concern expressed by multiple NGOs about orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, and bigeye and tongol tuna, H-E-B should stop selling these species immediately.

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  20. Wrong Way Badge

    #20 Price Chopper

    Overall Score

    40.4

    Policy: 46

    Initiatives: 37.5

    Transparency: 27

    Inventory: 51

    Stores & Banners

    Price Chopper • Market 32 • Market Bistro

    Score Breakdown

    Price Chopper’s sustainable seafood program needs a comprehensive overhaul. Fortunately, improvements are underway. Price Chopper just discontinued monkfish for sustainability reasons and is developing a canned tuna policy.

    Policy: Price Chopper has a sustainable seafood policy that covers some of its seafood. Historically, it has opposed GMO seafood, but lacks a formal policy. Price Chopper needs to go beyond low-bar industry standards for its forthcoming tuna policy and share its social standards.

    Initiatives: It is unclear if or how Price Chopper publicly advocates for ocean health and seafood workers’ rights. The retailer has historically made efforts to stop seafood fraud and has recently prioritized traceability. Price Chopper should support legally binding agreements to protect seafood workers’ rights and announce a public plan to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Price Chopper must communicate about sustainable seafood at the point of sale. A major first step is reinstating its sustainable seafood website. This is an opportunity to incorporate policy improvements and launch new education initiatives.

    Inventory: Price Chopper references the Seafood Watch recommendations, including its red list. The retailer should be commended for discontinuing monkfish because of bycatch and seafloor impacts. Now, Price Chopper should stop selling Chilean sea bass and sell only sustainable tuna.

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  21. Improvement Badge

    #21 The Save Mart Companies

    Overall Score

    39.2

    Policy: 64.4

    Initiatives: 22.5

    Transparency: 17

    Inventory: 53

    Stores & Banners

    Save Mart • S-Mart • Lucky • Lucky California • FoodMaxx • MaxxValue Foods

    Score Breakdown

    While Save Mart failed, it continues to improve and is within reach of a passing score. Save Mart must markedly improve in the initiatives and transparency categories, strengthen its focus on human rights, and address plastic pollution.

    Policy: Save Mart has a sustainable seafood policy, which is an important first step. It should strengthen its policy, particularly regarding traceability, auditing, and labor and human rights. Relying on industry-influenced tuna standards will not ensure sustainable, ethical tuna.

    Initiatives: While Save Mart has some traceability initiatives, it must strengthen its measures to avoid illegally caught seafood, address transshipment at sea, advocate for improvements in fisheries management, and make strong public commitments to phase out single-use plastics.

    Transparency: Save Mart failed in this category. While Greenpeace commends Save Mart for releasing a public policy, the retailer must now ensure customers have access to information at the point of sale in order to make sustainable choices.

    Inventory: Greenpeace commends Save Mart for working to discontinue orange roughy and Chilean sea bass, which, given sustainability concerns, should never be sold in any supermarket. Save Mart must make improvements in its tuna procurement and in its farmed seafood, from Atlantic salmon to shrimp.

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  22. Wrong Way Badge

    #22 Wakefern

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    Overall Score

    37.9

    Policy: 53

    Initiatives: 31.1

    Transparency: 32.5

    Inventory: 35

    Stores & Banners

    Price Rite • ShopRite

    Score Breakdown

    Wakefern is the worst-ranked retailer. While it may be continuing its sustainable seafood program, it is impossible to assess, given Wakefern’s lack of transparency online, in the press, or via Greenpeace’s survey assessment process.

    Policy: While Wakefern has a policy, it has very limited information available online. It is unclear how Wakefern ensures its seafood is responsibly sourced if it relies on eco-certifications, since these standards alone will not guarantee sustainable, ethical seafood.

    Initiatives: Beyond selling some eco-certified products, very little information is publicly available regarding Wakefern’s advocacy for ocean health and seafood workers’ rights. Aside from encouraging its customers to recycle and use reusable bags, it is unclear what policies or commitments Wakefern has to tackle plastic pollution.

    Transparency: After a solid start in 2014 with press about its sustainable seafood program and some 2016 stories on more sustainably sourced shrimp products, there has been limited press about Wakefern’s initiatives. The retailer must be significantly more transparent with its customers, NGOs, and the public.

    Inventory: Wakefern should discontinue Chilean sea bass, sell only sustainably caught tuna, and ensure that it does not sell orange roughy.

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Show Glossary

Glossary

  1. Bycatch: Marine life unintentionally caught and often killed when fishing, like sharks, turtles, seabirds, and juvenile fish. Wasteful fishing practices from bottom trawls to longlines are highly destructive for marine life and habitats, and supermarkets should sell only the most sustainably harvested seafood available, otherwise refuse to sell it.

    Eco-certification: Third-party standards for wild or farmed seafood that are supposed to meet certain sustainability and/or social criteria. Given outstanding concerns with eco-certifications, supermarkets wanting to ensure responsible seafood should not solely rely on them.

    Fisheries management: The actions of national or international bodies that manage fishing and conservation of fish stocks in a particular region. Often influenced by industry, it is vital for supermarkets to advocate for sustainable fishing with these management bodies.

    GMO: Genetically modified organism, specifically with regard to salmon. Often used interchangeably with genetically engineered salmon. Supermarkets should never carry these “frankenfish.”

    Inventory: The seafood a supermarket sells either online or in stores.

    IPNLF: The International Pole & Line Foundation works to develop, support, and promote responsible pole-and-line and handline tuna fisheries worldwide.

    Longlines: Fishing lines, sometimes dozens of miles long, baited with thousands of hooks. Very indiscriminate fishing gear and highly destructive.

  2. NGO: Non-governmental organization

    Own brand: A supermarket’s store brand products. Because supermarkets develop these products with suppliers, they can often more quickly improve the sustainability of these products than national brands.

    Pole and line: A fishing method that catches tuna one-by-one with the use of a pole. Impacts on other species are minimal. A best choice.

    Red list: A list of species of seafood that should not be sold for various sustainability reasons. See the Seafood Watch recommendations for more.

    Seafood Task Force: This multi-stakeholder body aims to confront forced labor, human trafficking, and unsustainable fishing in the Thai seafood industry.

    Seafood Watch: This NGO educates consumers and businesses through its color-coded (green, yellow, red) sustainable seafood recommendations via its website and app.

    Stores & Banners: Some supermarkets are owned by larger companies that operate several different supermarket chains, also known as banners. For example, Ahold Delhaize owns and operates Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, Food Lion, and Hannaford stores.

    Sustainable, ethical: Seafood harvested using the best available practices that mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts.

    Transshipment at sea: When fishing vessels offload their products to other boats at sea so the vessels can continue fishing for months or years at a time. Transshipment is often associated with human rights abuse, illegal fishing, and smuggling shark fins.

How We Ranked Supermarkets

Find out what we used to evaluate supermarkets on seafood sustainability.

Greenpeace obtained information from supermarkets through a standardized eight-page survey, email and phone conversations, publicly available information, and in-store visits. We scored supermarkets based on their performance in four categories:

  • Policy

    Does the supermarket have a public sustainable seafood policy that covers all of its seafood procurement? Does it clearly define and enforce its rigorous standards with its suppliers to avoid unsustainable and unethical seafood?

  • Initiatives

    How does the supermarket advocate with decision makers, NGOs, scientists, and its seafood suppliers to protect ocean health and seafood workers’ rights? Does it avoid destructively harvested seafood, address the illegal fishing and human rights risks linked to transshipment at sea, and work to phase out single-use plastics?

  • Transparency

    How does the supermarket communicate with its customers and the public its sustainable seafood standards and key data about its seafood (e.g., catch method, sustainability status) that enables customers to make informed decisions?

  • Inventory

    What species of seafood does the supermarket sell? Is it harvested by destructive fishing or farming methods? Is it red listed according to the Seafood Watch recommendations?

Performance Badges

  1. Category Winner Badge

    Awarded to the supermarkets that scored the highest in each of the four scoring categories above.

  2. Canned Tuna Badge

    Awarded to the three supermarkets that sell only sustainable own brand canned tuna.

  3. Improvement Badge

    Awarded to the five most improved supermarkets (based on overall score, not relative ranking).

  4. Wrong Way Badge

    Indicates the five supermarkets whose score dropped.

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Did not respond

Indicates the three supermarkets that declined to participate in the survey process.

This is an overview. For more details on our methodology, please view the full report.

Demand supermarkets reduce plastic packaging!

Plastic pollution is destroying our oceans. It's harming turtles, whales, fish, and every part of the ocean food chain. Supermarkets use a lot of plastic to package goods that we buy every day. Ask major supermarkets to lead by eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging.

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