In an ambitious move to provide customers with the highest-quality, traceable seafood from environmentally and socially responsible sources, Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho, announced a new Responsible Seafood Policy.

This policy sets a bold vision for sustainable seafood across the 2,300-plus stores and expands the existing program beyond fresh and frozen seafood to include shelf-stable tuna (canned and vacuum-sealed), as well as sushi sold from the delis.

"Shelf-stable tuna, social responsibility and traceability are the most challenging issues in sustainable seafood today, and our team is tackling them head on," says Buster Houston, group director of seafood. "While it's defining a course for the sustainability efforts here at Albertsons Cos., we feel it's also a pivotal moment for the seafood industry as a whole. Even though the issues are complex, we cannot shy away from seeking out solutions because it's what being responsible stewards of our resources is all about."

The company also partnered with FishWise, Santa Cruz, Calif., to set a large-scale “Top 20 by 2022” goal for fresh and private label frozen seafood, whereby 100% of the Top 20 wild and farmed seafood products sold at Albertsons  stores will meet the Responsible Seafood Policy by year-end 2022. This commitment means that 94% of products (by volume) sold in service cases and freezers will be either Green- or Yellow-Rated, certified to an equivalent environmental standard or sourced from fisheries or farms making measurable and time-bound improvements.

“We are proud of Albertsons Cos.,” says Ashley Greenley, project director at FishWise. “Their new policy builds on the progress and momentum we achieved over the years with their team, and sets a high standard for the next generation of comprehensive retailer commitments.”

In the coming months, FishWise will work closely with Albertsons to develop ambitious, yet achievable time-bound goals for sushi and shelf-stable tuna.