Responsible Seafood Sourcing Policy
Sprouts sources seafood from select partners who are committed to preserving and protecting the health of our marine and freshwater ecosystems and the wellbeing of fishery-dependent communities, so current and future generations may continue to enjoy responsibly sourced seafood.
Our Responsible Seafood Sourcing Policy (the “Policy”) applies to all fresh, frozen, shelf-stable, and sushi seafood products. It is the responsibility of Sprouts category managers to ensure that products adhere to our Policy. This Policy has been developed by internal and external subject matter experts and is reviewed for necessary adjustments on a recurrent basis.
Sprouts purchases from traceable sources with third party certifications and chain of control documents. Vendors must provide evidence that products do not come from sources that utilize any illegal methods, including those violating human rights. Sprouts requires evidence of traceability, including audits or other accepted documentation. Additionally, Sprouts only purchases from vendors who follow the provisions of applicable law.
Certifications & Oversight
To work with Sprouts, certified fisheries and farm operations must undergo a rigorous process to ensure that their practices comply with requirements that have been established by international experts. An independent, specially trained third-party team will examine an operation and issue a certificate that must be renewed on a schedule that depends on the species or fishery being certified. Sprouts works with certification bodies that are recognized as credible by scientific, industry, and non-governmental organizations internationally. As other certifying bodies pass the rigorous benchmarking requirements of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, these will be evaluated for inclusion in Sprouts’ Policy. Sprouts prioritizes sourcing seafood species from fisheries or farm programs rated as a Best Choice (Green) or Good Alternative (Yellow) by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, or under one of these certifications:
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), three star or higher
- Alaska RFM
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
- Audubon Gulf United for lasting Fisheries (GULF)
- BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture (Ireland)
- MEL Japan
For some species, there are either no certifications available or too little certified product available. Fisheries and farm operations that do not have the resources to undergo a full certification protocol but that are operating within the framework of a formal Fisheries or Aquaculture Improvement Plan are eligible for consideration as a source. These plans must have well-defined goals and make annual progress towards eventual certification or continued credibility. These plans must also operate under the direction of a credible management body like the World Wildlife Fund or those using Sustainable Fisheries Partnership guidelines and are listed on the FisheryProgress.org website.
Non-certified seafood species from countries that have robust regulatory oversight and sound scientific management practices are eligible for inclusion as a source of supply on a case-by-case basis.
Sprouts will not purchase:
- Seafood that has been transshipped at sea without verifiable 100 percent independent observer coverage
- Species that are threatened and have no credible improvement plan, including shark, bluefin tuna, Russian cod not in a Fishery Improvement Plan, Russian crab, squid, octopus, Atlantic sardines, spiny lobsters, or wild shrimp from areas with poor regulatory oversight
- Seafood from vessels that engage in shark finning
- Genetically modified seafood
Sprouts is committed to conducting business with integrity, transparency and high ethical standards that respect human rights and fair labor practices. Sprouts selects reputable suppliers and business partners that share this commitment and detail our expectations regarding workplace standards and supplier best practices in our Supplier Code of Conduct and Commitment to Human Rights.