Overwaitea has stopped selling open net-pen farmed salmon. (Photo: Greenpeace/Overwaitea/FIS)
Overwaitea first to get green rating in Greenpeace ranking
Friday, June 29, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) has become the first chain to attain a “green” rating in Greenpeace’s 2012 ranking of Canada’s eight largest supermarket chains on seafood sustainability. Overwaitea’s achievement of 72 per cent -- a jump of 13 points from last year -- was accomplished in part because it stopped selling open net-pen farmed salmon in its stores.
Overwaitea is the first of Canada’s eight largest food retailers, and the third in North America, to stop selling open net-pen farmed salmon.
“We commend this latest step by OFG to source seafood products that are more compatible with healthy oceans,” said Sarah King, Greenpeace Ocean Campaign Coordinator. “It’s time the federal government and the salmon farming industry start getting the message that this product doesn’t fit in with the Canadian retail market’s growing sustainable seafood movement.”
Greenpeace says it has red-graded open net-pen farmed salmon because of the industry’s documented negative impacts on coastal ecosystems. Disease and parasite transmission, toxic contamination, escaped farmed fish and the use of wild fish in feed are among the key menaces imposed on marine life.
Loblaw came in second place approaching a green rating with a score of 68 per cent and Safeway holds the third position at 63 per cent. Metro (4th), Walmart (5th), Sobeys (tied for 6th) and Federated Co-operative Ltd (tied for 6th) all scored in the 50 per cent range; Costco (7th) failed with 43 per cent.
|Greenpeace 2012 supermarket ranking of Canada. (Image: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace Canada criticised Sobeys for selling more red-listed seafood species than any other major Canadian food retailer. The green group noted that the retailer has the power to help encourage change, but it must act faster to switch to sustainable options, The Herald Business reports.
Red-listed species sold by Sobeys include farmed Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallops, Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, haddock, yellowfin tuna and Chilean sea bass.
Redlist seafood is that which is harmfully fished or farmed. This year’s ranking found that most chains continue to identify species of concern and seek better options, but the high volume sales of farmed salmon remain a major obstacle.
|Open net-pen farmed salmon near Puerto Chacauco, Chile. Greenpeace is putting pressure on major Canadian supermarkets to stop selling products using open net-pen farmed salmon because of its negative impacts on the environment. (Photo: 02/03/2004 © Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá)
“Some supermarkets are clearer about their plans to address these big sellers with big problems, and that is reflected in the scores,” said King. “Canadian retailers continue to take positive steps forward with seven out of eight receiving a passing grade this year, but expectations remain high as they approach their policy implementation goals.”
Greenpeace is urging retailers not to confuse their customers by marketing products that are not actually sustainable as a “green” choice.
A number of existing and pending farmed salmon stamps of approval fail Greenpeace’s assessment because they do not address important issues. These certifications and eco-labels include Seafood Trust, WiseSource Salmon, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global GAP, Friend of the Sea (FOS), GAA Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards, the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard for salmon, other “organic” certifications and other eco-stamps.
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By Natalia Real