U.S. retailer ‘on target’ to meet sustainability goal


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 19, 2012

One of the United States’ largest retailers has pledged to ensure that 100 percent of seafood offerings are sustainable and traceable by the end of fiscal 2015, and it’s on target to meet that goal.

The commitment is one of four new corporate responsibility goals that Target Corp. revealed on Monday as part of its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report. At of the end of fiscal 2011, 40 percent of the retailer’s seafood offerings were sustainable and traceable, it said.

Target — the country’s second biggest retailer behind Walmart, with 1,763 stores nationwide — has been working on its sustainable seafood sourcing policy for years, partnering with organizations such as FishWise, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program.

To date, 63 percent of Target’s wild seafood is MSC-certified, and another 24 percent is undergoing full MSC assessment. Also, the retailer procures 87 percent of its farmed products from BAP-certified processing farms or plants. It’s also a members of the Food Marketing Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Working Group.

“To meet our 2015 goal, Target is pursuing a two-fold procurement strategy,” the retailer spelled out in its report. “First, we’re working with existing suppliers to improve their sustainable practices. This includes Fishery Improvement Projects that assess fisheries against the industry standard, identify deficiencies and develop and implement a time-bound work plan. Similarly, we’re working with our farmed seafood suppliers to adjust feed formulas, farm design, and implement risk mitigation measures, all of which will improve the environmental performance of farms over time. Secondly, we’re seeking out new vendors who can supply products that already meet our sustainable seafood standards. We’ll share our annual progress toward our goal.”

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