Building on a decade-long partnership with WWF to drive more sustainable seafood sourcing, Kroger is restating their commitment to increasing seafood sustainability by launching a new, more comprehensive Seafood Sustainability Policy. As the nation’s largest grocer and a leading purchaser of seafood, Kroger’s new policy has the potential to drive even greater impact on wild-caught and farmed seafood systems.
Building on progress achieved on its 2020 seafood sustainability goals, Kroger reaffirms their leadership in the sector by extending commitments to source more sustainable and responsible seafood, including shelf-stable tuna. Their aspiration is to source 100% of the seafood in their fresh and frozen departments from fisheries and farms. Key goals are to:
- Source 95% of wild-caught seafood sold in their seafood department from fisheries which are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, in MSC full assessment, in a comprehensive Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) toward meeting the MSC standard or certified by other Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) recognized programs by 2023 and preferentially source at least 85% (of total volume) from fisheries which are MSC certified by 2023.
- Source 100% of shelf-stable tuna from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) participating companies that are in full compliance with ISSF conservation measures, and by 2025, source at least 20% of Our Brands shelf-stable tuna from fisheries that are MSC certified.
- Source 100% of farm-raised seafood sold in their Seafood Departments from farms working toward sustainable and responsible sources. Kroger will prioritize farms that are Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) 2-star or greater certified, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified or GLOBAL G.A.P. certified by 2023.
- Continue to advance the availability of more responsible products by supporting Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), to support the goal of increasing the amount of seafood achieving MSC certification.
- Require suppliers to provide source location information for wild-caught and farm-raised seafood with a focus on tracking farmed shrimp geographic information to gain visibility on potential deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems occurring in the supply chain.
- Prohibit the sales of endangered or critically endangered species for all Kroger fresh and store-brand sourced seafood products.
“At Kroger, we want our customers and future generations to enjoy fresh, high-quality and more sustainable seafood. By partnering with WWF, we are finding meaningful ways to engage our supply chain and increase the amount of seafood we procure that meets our sustainability criteria.”Lisa Zwack, Kroger’s Head of Sustainability
At the close of 2020, Kroger has met 86% of its wild-capture commitment, with 72% coming from MSC certified fisheries. It also achieved 98% of its aquaculture commitment. For the same period, the company supported 33 Comprehensive FIPs, as verified by Fishery Progress.org, by funding and/or sourcing from them.
When Kroger launched their sustainable seafood partnership with WWF in 2009 to drive improvements throughout their seafood supply chain, it energized the entire seafood sustainability movement, putting into motion a more sustainable future for our ocean’s fisheries. Kroger publicly committed in 2011 to ensure the sustainability of its top 20 species by volume. In 2016, it expanded upon its goal by committing to sourcing 100% of their wild-caught and farmed seafood from more sustainable fisheries and farms. As one of the largest supporters of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), the company also played a central role in driving fisheries’ progress and leading efforts in tuna conservation.
“WWF has been a proud partner of Kroger since the start of its more sustainable seafood sourcing efforts in 2009. The company’s achievements have had an undeniably significant impact on the state of global seafood sustainability. We will continue to support Kroger’s transformational efforts to transition its procurement toward more sustainable and responsible sourcing and to catalyze further significant change across the seafood industry.”Michael Griff, Director, Seafood Markets at WWF
Additionally, as part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan, WWF will continue to provide valuable food waste data tracking expertise and program guidance as Kroger pursues its goal to achieve zero food waste in its operations.