March 30, 2010
Trader Joe's, the trendy low-cost grocery chain that nurtures a green image, has bowed to pressure from environmental groups and says it will stock only sustainably-harvested seafood by 2012.

Greenpeace and other environmental groups, has kept the heat on Trader Joe's lately, noting that its seafood policies don't match its eco-friendly image. It was recently ranked 17 out of 20 in a Greenpeace review, the lowest of any national grocery chain.

"Greenpeace applauds the supermarket chain for finally seeing the light and working towards sustainable seafood policies that will help save the oceans and put an end to destructive fishing practices," a Greenpeace spokesman said.

"Trader Joe's felt the heat from Greenpeaces mock website (, relentless phone calls from supporters, thoughtful karaoke songs from shoppers and in-store demonstrations and questions to store managers from activists across the country," he added.

In a statement, Trader Joe's said it intends for its new policy to "address customer concerns including the issues of over fishing, destructive catch or production methods, and the importance of marine reserves" and said it will "use our purchasing power to leverage change within the seafood supply community."

"Based on customer feedback and in support of our work to source sustainable seafoodwe stopped selling Chilean Sea Bass in 2005, Orange Roughy in July of 2009, and Red Snapper in March of 2010," the statement said.

Other chains have also gotten the message. Target recently announced that it will replace farmed salmon with more sustainable Alaskan wild salmon.

However, eight major chains have made no visible effort to increase the sustainability of their seafood operations, according to the latest report from Greenpeace. These include: Aldi, Costco, Giant Eagle, H.E.B., Meijer, Price Chopper, Publix and Winn Dixie.