Week in review: Greenpeace


Steven Hedlund

Published on
June 3, 2009

By Steven Hedlund

Here’s a recap of this week’s most read stories on SeafoodSource:

1) Summer school: On 30 June, Greenpeace plans to re-release its report ranking U.S. retailers according to their sustainable seafood purchasing policies — the third time it has published “Carting Away the Oceans” since June 2008. Last time, only four retailers — Whole Foods, Ahold USA, Target and Harris Teeter — earned a passing grade after all 20 chains initially reviewed had failed. In Canada, Greenpeace followed up its re-release of “Out of Stock, Out of Excuses” by targeting retailers directly; numerous activists have been arrested for disrupting and vandalizing supermarkets from British Columbia to Ontario. Will Greenpeace do the same when its U.S. report is re-released at month’s end?

2) New partners: Ocean Beauty Seafoods is known for its Alaska salmon, and Vita Food Products is recognized for its pickled herring. So the two companies reached an agreement in which Vita will make pickled herring for Ocean Beauty, which in turn will supply Vita with Alaska salmon to produce smoked salmon. The partnership extends only to sourcing and production and comes about three weeks after Ocean Beauty closed its 80-year-old Los Angeles smokehouse, which became too expensive to maintain and upgrade.

3) Fish on the cheap: Despite the long-term shift toward red meat, Japanese consumption of inexpensive fish is on the rise. More Japanese-caught saury, mackerel and pink salmon is staying in the Japanese market due to the appreciating yen and the sluggish global economy, which has dampened the export market for the fish.

4) Fire up the grill: Summer is around the corner, and Americans are in the mood to grill. Eager to give seafood sales a much-needed shot in the arm, U.S. retailers are promoting grill-friendly fish like salmon and tuna. Kroger, Publix and Bloom are among the supermarket chains that had seafood on ad this week.

5) Shrimp stalemate: Newfoundland shrimp processors ceased operations this week, citing an appreciating Canadian dollar, rising raw material costs and weakening demand, particularly in Europe. Union and industry representatives met on Thursday to find a solution so that processing can resume purchasing shrimp.

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