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As Walmart goes, so do retailers worldwide. Known for years as a leader in pricing and distribution, Walmart is now impacting the global sustainable seafood trade. And as a result, other large chains will also have to step up their games.

At the International Boston Seafood Show in March, the Bentonville, Ark., company announced that its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the United States are requiring all of its fresh and frozen seafood products to be third-party certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).

All of Walmart and Sam’s Club products from uncertified wild fisheries and aquaculture producers must have developed plans toward MSC certification by the end of this month. Then, suppliers’ plans must be finalized and under way no later than June 2012. Walmart has not been the only mass merchandiser chain to transform its sustainability practices, however. Minneapolis-based Target removed Chilean sea bass from its stores earlier this year and in 2010 it delisted farmed salmon from its assortment.

“Since announcing the elimination of farmed salmon, we have received a great response from our guests and remain committed to this assortment,” says company spokesperson Jenna Reck. Target’s removal of farmed salmon also led to Greenpeace ranking it as the No. 1 retailer in its annual sustainable seafood ranking in 2010.

Click here to read the rest of the feature on Walmart and Target, which was written by SeaFood Business and SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Christine Blank and appeared in the magazine’s May issue.

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