July 30, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –The Alaska salmon brand is the best, says Wal-Mart. And yes, they’re carrying it. More after this –
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The world’s largest retail giant is committed to Alaska salmon, despite reports to the contrary.
We’re proud to offer Alaska salmon in our stores – and it’s important to us because we know it’s important to our customers.
Andrea Thomas is Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of sustainability.
Headlines went viral when news broke that Wal-Mart would not be carrying Alaska salmon. The issue stemmed from Alaska’s decision to opt out of an eco-label that since 2006 Wal-Mart has used to guide its purchases of seafood from well managed fisheries. Getting such ‘sustainable’ stamps of approval has become a cost of doing business in the global market. Alaska salmon is transitioning to another fisheries certifier called Global Trust.
A routine letter sent by Wal-Mart to all seafood suppliers stirred things up, said Chris Schraeder, Senior Manager of Sustainability Communications. It contained a footnote saying that at this point, Alaska salmon did not have an equivalent certification. People interpreted that to mean that Wal-Mart would no longer be purchasing Alaska salmon.
Schrader said it’s the first time the company has encountered this eco-labeling problem. Wal-Mart has hired two studies to review Global Trust’s standards to make sure the company can deliver on its earth friendly fishing commitment. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is talking with the governor’s office, ASMI and others to make sure Alaska salmon stays in its stores. Andrea Thomas —
We’re approaching the issue of fisheries management very thoughtfully. We’ve been listening to experts, we’ve been in conversation with governor’s office, and we’re talking to other people who are closely involved to make sure we’re doing the right thing.
Wal-Mart’s Schraeder said the company is committed to Alaska because “people recognize it as the best brand for salmon.”
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.