Seafood choices making a difference

The moment our fish team had been waiting for came to pass this week when Greenpeace’s updated seafood sustainability scorecard ‘Carting Away the Oceans’, was released. We were recognized as one of the most sustainable seafood retailers in the USA!

With a score of 87%, we’re the second highest scoring retailer in California (after Sacramento Natural Foods, kudos to them!) and above Safeway (65%), Whole Foods (62%) and Trader Joe’s (45%). More than anything, these low scores from national retailers show us that we still have a long way to go to ensure the American public is protecting our fisheries and environment as much as needed.

More importantly, we’re proud to have partnered with our guests and suppliers to improve our score by 10 percentage points from last year’s score of 77%. We did this by pledging not to sell several kinds of fish that we learned weren’t being caught sustainably. Even though many of our guests missed some of their favorites, they were excited to try the sustainable alternatives we found. The greatest mark of success, and the most encouraging for other retailers unsure of the economic impact on sourcing more sustainable fish options, is the fact that our seafood sales increased by 20% this past year. This is a true sign that consumers want to know where there food comes from, how it was sourced and the impact it has on the environment. One thing we know for sure, casting a wider net is not always best.

Here are some of the species we’ve pledged not to sell:

  • Farmed salmon (both from our fresh seafood case and our house smoked salmon)
  • Yellowfin tuna (our grocery team took the canned version off of our shelves, too)
  • Trawl caught rock cod

Sustainable alternatives that we are excited about:

  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Albacore tuna
  • Farm raised California trout
  • Sardines and Squid caught locally

Part of our commitment to sustainable seafood involves partnering with FishWise, a non-profit focused on improving the sustainability of seafood retailers. They created this chart depicting how various SF retailers are doing on the spectrum:

2 Responses to “Seafood choices making a difference”

  1. John says:

    Whooo! Whoo! Way to go Bi-Rite. That’s what I want to see. Great to see you putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to the oceans!

  2. Chalkman says:

    that’s awesome Chili! Now get in there and make some of your yummy fried chicken!