Organic retailer calls out Whole Foods


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 19, 2010

The founder of MOM’s Organic Market on Monday called on Whole Foods to work quicker on its new sustainable seafood labeling program.

“Whole Foods has set a goal to stop selling all red-labeled endangered seafood species by 2013. These species are in immediate danger of collapse. Whole Foods’ color label system shows consumers that they mostly offer red and yellow species of seafood — and very little green-labeled seafood,” said Scott Nash. “By waiting until 2013, Whole Foods continues to be a conscious contributor to the overfishing of our oceans and is irresponsible in not acting with a real commitment to solve this problem now.”

Washington-based MOM’s chose to carry only green-labeled seafood throughout its stores, including canned and frozen seafood in 2008. Since then, the locally owned and operated organic grocery store chain has ranked higher than any other national grocery chain on Greenpeace’s retail seafood rating scorecard.

"Whole Foods needs to do the right thing and put ethics before profits and stop selling these endangered species of seafood immediately. They are using different certifiers, not applying their program to all of their products, selling many red and yellow products, have random and far in the future timelines for discontinuing certain items, and many products in their fresh seafood department and grocery department remain unlabeled altogether,” said Nash. “In a nutshell, this color-label system is necessary at Whole Foods only because they choose to sell many unsustainable species of seafood.”

Whole Foods last week launched a science-based sustainability rating system for wild seafood. The program expands upon the retailer’s partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council, which has been in place since 1999.

All Environment & Sustainability stories >

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500