The grocery chains earned scores of 7.3, 7.1 and seven, respectively, in the scorecard, which has been released each year since 2008. Seven is the lowest score that qualifies for a green rating, according to Greenpeace’s 2013 Carting Away the Oceans report. Ratings evaluate retailers on a variety of factors including the sale of so-called “red list” seafood, transparency of supply and engagement with conservation initiatives.
Just a few years ago, not one grocery chain had sustainable seafood practices strong enough to earn a green, or good, rating. When the list initially debuted, all 20 retailers assessed received failing grades.
This year, BI-Lo/Winn-Dixie had the lowest score with 1.2. Other grocery chains with low, near failing grades were Publix and Kroger.
This is Trader Joe’s first year to achieve a green rating. Trader Joe’s, which has long been criticized and pressured by Greenpeace to change its policies, moved from 15th to third place in the rankings for discontinuing its sale of six unsustainable species, reforming its canned tuna selection and refusing to sell genetically-modified seafood, among other policy shifts. The retailer, along with Wegmans and Supervalu, also has become politically involved to protect the Zhemchug and Pribilof Canyons of the Bering Sea, home to the polluck industry, Greenpeace says.
Progress towards sustainable seafood practices has been made by several other retailers, including Walmart, which introduced both fish aggregating device-free skipjack and pole-and-line albacore in more than 3,000 stores across the US, Greenpeace says. Walmart’s move makes affordable, responsibly caught canned tuna available to the majority of the population in the US for the first time, according to the environmental advocacy group.