Sodexo, Costco Make Sustainable Seafood Commitments

Major food retailers Sodexo and Costco (Nasdaq: COST) separately made
commitments this week to sustainable seafood.

Sodexo, Inc. announced a comprehensive Sustainable Seafood
Initiative, including a commitment to have 100% of its contracted fresh and
frozen seafood certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) by 2015.

Sodexo’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative is part of Sodexo’s
Better Tomorrow Plan, the company’s global roadmap for sustainability. The
commitment to source sustainable seafood is one of 14 Better Tomorrow
commitments to the environment, nutrition, health & wellness, and support
for local communities.

The Initiative is in line with Sodexo’s newly developed
global seafood strategy based on 5 key pillars:

  1. Maintain
    a wide variety of species in Sodexo’s catalogues and menus
  2. Ban
    species at risk and implement control measures for others
  3. Increase
    use of Eco-standards or labels
  4. Set up
    supply for sustainable aquaculture
  5. Develop
    sourcing according to an established technical agreement between Sodexo
    and WWF

A forthcoming global seafood policy will provide guidance
for concrete actions to sustainably source seafood throughout the world in the
80 countries in which Sodexo operates.

Teaming with the Marine Stewardship Council and the Global
Aquaculture Alliance, Sodexo said it will review all wild caught and farm
raised seafood purchases and help identify the sustainability of its seafood
supply. Short, medium and long term goals will be set with contracted seafood
vendors to source and sell certified sustainable seafood to meet the 2015 goal.

In addition, Sodexo is partnering with the organizations NSF
Surefish, CleanFish and Koch Foods to monitor and communicate on its efforts.

Costco Revises Seafood Policy

Costco Corporation revised its sustainability
seafood policy and will discontinue sales of twelve kinds of fish associated
with severe environmental concerns, including shark, orange roughy, Chilean sea
bass, and Atlantic halibut.

Costco, one of the largest seafood retailers in the Western
Hemisphere, also pledged to pursue aquaculture certification standards that
support best practices, as farmed salmon and farmed shrimp are two of its
largest volume items.

Greenpeace USA congratulated Costco and suspended its
campaign to persuade Costco to improve its seafood practices in recognition of
the progress demonstrated by the retail titan.

Based on the significant shift announced by Costco, the
company is likely to leap up the charts on Greenpeace’s forthcoming annual
Carting Away the Oceans seafood sustainability ranking. The next edition of the
report is due to be released this April.

Given Costco’s size and market share the changes announced
by the company today will have far reaching implications for the industry and
significant benefits for marine ecosystems, Greenpeace said in a release.

Costco’s policy states that the company may continue to sell
these discontinued species if they are certified by the Marine Stewardship
Council (MSC), which is the most recognized independent certifier of
sustainable fisheries.

"We recognize that Costco is moving in the right direction,"
said Casson Trenor, Senior Markets Campaigner for Greenpeace. "That said,
Greenpeace shares the concerns some scientists and environmental groups have
voiced about the MSC and its standards. Hopefully a progressive company like
Costco will use its significant purchasing power to push the MSC to continue to
improve and become the gold standard that we all hope it will be."

In the
coming months, Greenpeace said it will continue to focus on the canned tuna
sector and its impact on the planet.

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