Overwaitea shines on Greenpeace’s ‘green’ list

Overwaitea Food Group’s decision to stop selling net-pen farmed salmon has catapulted the Western Canadian retailer to the top of Greenpeace’s list ranking Canada’s major supermarket chains according to their sustainable seafood sourcing policies.

Overwaitea is Canada’s first supermarket chain to attain a “green” rating, said Greenpeace on Thursday. The retailer sells only salmon raised in closed-containment facilities.

The seven other retailers fell short of a “green” rating. Loblaw ranked second with a score of 68 percent, followed by Safeway (63 percent), Metro (56 percent), Walmart (55 percent), Sobeys and Federated Co-operative Ltd. (both at 54 percent) and Costco (43 percent).

The last time Greenpeace released such a report was in June 2010. The report, “Taking Stock: Ranking Supermarkets on Seafood Sustainability,” gave Overwaitea the only passing grade at 51 percent. In 2009, all eight retailers failed.

Many, if not all, of the Canadian retailers have introduced and publicized their sustainable seafood sourcing policies. In fact, just this week, Loblaw announced that it’s on track to meet its commitment to source 100 percent of its seafood from sustainable sources by the end of 2013.

However, Greenpeace does not endorse many of the sustainable seafood schemes Canadian retailers are adopting, including Seafood Trust, WiseSource Salmon, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, GlobalGAP, Friend of the Sea and the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards. For farmed salmon, the environmental activist organization only supports closed containment.


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