Sustainable Seafood

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Working with seafood suppliers to ensure third-party certification

Over the past half century, demand for seafood has increased five-fold. An estimated 75% of the world’s fisheries are at or beyond sustainable limits. Meanwhile, an estimated 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, while another 200 million rely on the industry as their main source of income, according to seafish.org.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club require all fresh and frozen, farmed and wild seafood suppliers to become third-party certified as sustainable using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or equivalent standards. By June 2012, all uncertified fisheries and aquaculture suppliers must be actively working toward certification.

As of Jan. 31, 2012, 76% of our fresh, frozen, farmed and wild seafood suppliers were third-party certified and an additional 8% had developed the required certification plans. One significant highlight over the past year has been the BAP certification of our Atlantic-farmed salmon and tilapia.

We continue to work closely with all seafood suppliers to ensure they meet our June 2012 goal. We’ve collaborated with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to identify high-risk fisheries and initiate Fishery Improvement Projects. In addition, we’ve established five working groups to help drive our sustainable seafood goal, including:

  • Wild-caught seafood
  • Farmed seafood
  • Certification equivalencies
  • Scorecard management and standards
  • Canned tuna