CINCINNATI, April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced new details of its progress on seafood sustainability and the next phase of its partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization. WWF is at the forefront of developing strategies for responsibly-sourced wild seafood. Kroger has been working with WWF for more than a year to assess its current seafood supply and develop ways to improve the sustainability of its seafood buying practices and standards.
The results of the internal analysis suggest already more than half of the top 20 wild-caught seafood species sold by Kroger are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or in full assessment. Kroger has set a 2015 goal of sourcing 100% of its top 20 wild-caught species from sources that are certified by MSC, in full assessment, or involved in a Fishery Improvement Project with WWF.
"Kroger is enthusiastic about this goal and what it will mean for our customers," said Mark Van Buskirk, Vice President for Meat and Seafood Merchandising for Kroger. "We want to ensure that our customers and their children can enjoy fresh, sustainable seafood for generations to come."
In addition to sourcing 100% MSC certified fish, Kroger is supporting a number of Fishery Improvement Projects in cooperation with WWF including the Ecuadorian mahi mahi and Indonesian yellowfin tuna fisheries. The improvements being put in place will directly help these fisheries perform at a level consistent with MSC standards, benefiting local communities, fishermen, suppliers and consumers.
Kroger will also no longer sell shark, marlin or bluefin tuna due to sustainability concerns in the species.
"As one of the largest traditional food retailers in the U.S., the Kroger family of stores plays an important role by working with the seafood industry on important sustainability practices," says Bill Fox, Vice President and Managing Director of WWF's fisheries program. "Commitments like this are essential to achieving our conservation goals for healthy oceans."
To learn more about Kroger's 2011 Seafood Sustainability Policy, visit http://www.kroger.com/fresh_foods/meat_seafood/Pages/2010_seafood_sustainability_policy.aspx
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,458 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The Company also operates 786 convenience stores, 361 fine jewelry stores, 1,014 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.