Friday, May 25, 2007

Wal-Mart Selling Sustainable Seafood

Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and Bon Appetit food service company all shared the stage for the sake of sustainable seafood at a pre-conferance seminar held at Monterey Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions confab.

Peter Redmond, Wal-Mart's vice president in charge of seafood also announced the company is shifting towards buying more wild, domestic shrimp despite the fact it is more expensive. This is all in an effort to begin shifting the 50 million pounds of shrimp that the super chain normally purchases from Thailand.

Walmart is clearly trying to jump on the sustainable seafood bandwagon after seeing the success of Whole Foods and others who have managed to really capture the sustainable consumer experience.

According to the SF Chronicle article, Redmond states:

"I can tell you it's good for business," Redmond remarked.

"Part of the sustainability issue is it's also a business plan for us."

It's also good news for worldwide efforts to save the oceans from complete depletion of major edible species by mid-century, as predicted by an international study published last November in Science magazine. Stanford University marine biology professor Stephen Palumbi was one of the researchers on that study; he appeared on a separate panel.

While Whole Foods and Bon Appetit are using this issue as a platform to raise awareness and create change, Wal-Mart is claiming that their "role isn't to tell people what they can and can't buy."

Whether altruistic or simple PR, it is a step in the right direction and a positive sign to see all levels of awareness being raised to the various consumer segments that exist.

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