Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood

By David Baskin
January 24, 2014
Sockeye Salmon Jumping Up Falls

Our commitments to sustainability are important for the environment as well as our business. And when it comes to seafood, the need for sustainability is clear. 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. At the same time, an estimated 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are at or beyond sustainable limits. Managing fisheries is vital to ensuring a reliable food chain and to our goal – to sell products that sustain people and the environment.

We’re proud of our role in promoting sustainable fisheries. So, when salmon fisheries in Alaska indicated they wanted to adopt a new program called Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM), we respected that decision but also wanted to credibly stand by our commitment. We turned to The Sustainability Consortium, an organization made up of businesses, academics and nonprofits, to develop principles for credible fishery management. Based on their findings, we took another look at our policy. We’re pleased to incorporate the latest science by applying TSC’s principles to our  sustainable seafood policy.

Walmart has proudly sourced seafood from the state of Alaska for many years, and under our newly revised sustainable sourcing policy, we will continue to do so.

We appreciate the work The Sustainability Consortium has done to evaluate seafood sustainability and develop principles for credible sustainable fisheries programs. These credibility principles will help us ensure sustainable seafood is available for future generations, and we’re excited that ASMI is working with us to show how the RFM program meets these principles.

Our new policy is part of an ongoing and evolutionary process to apply the latest science to pressing sustainability issues. It follows a four-month, multi-stakeholder process led by the Consortium to determine whether a sustainability program is credible and effectively promotes more sustainable fishery management. By addressing sustainable fishery management holistically, Walmart remains committed to promoting worldwide seafood sustainability.