It’s no secret that the state of our oceans overall is a major environmental concern. But there is a silver lining. More and more supermarkets are getting serious about sustainable seafood.
Every year, Greenpeace releases its annual rankings of U.S. supermarkets and sustainable seafood. We call it Carting Away the Oceans. This year, we profiled 26 of the largest supermarkets across the U.S.
Shopping responsibly can be pretty overwhelming. We want the task of making the right decision to be as easy as possible.
For starters, here are the scores:
In addition to the rankings, several cool trends have emerged:
- Wegmans earned a good rating (7.0/10 and above) for the first time.
- Newly-profiled Hy-Vee stunned everyone by landing in fifth place right out of the gates.
- Of the top five ranked supermarkets, four have launched or will shortly launch private label (store brand) sustainable canned tuna products. Consumers can now find sustainable and affordable alternatives to destructively-caught tuna at Whole Foods, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Hy-Vee, and Walmart.
- Hy-Vee and Ahold USA (Giant, Stop ‘n’ Shop, Martin’s) recently joined the growing chorus of retailers (Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and SUPERVALU) calling for protection of part of the Bering Sea Canyons in Alaska. This region houses key fisheries whose futures are threatened by industrial fishing.
Of course, no ranking would be complete without some downers:
- Four retailers – Publix, Save Mart, Bi-Lo, and Roundy’s – performed so poorly that they failed in the rankings (below 4.0/10).
- Kroger maintains its notorious top spot in selling the most destructively-sourced “Red List” seafood products in its stores. This is particularly problematic given Kroger’s size.
We’ve come a long way since Greenpeace’s first sustainable seafood rankings in 2008. Back then, every single one of the twenty retailers failed. It’s a real testament to progress that out of the 26 grocery stores we evaluated in 2014, four were ranked “good,” the majority made passing marks, and only four flunked.