Sustainable Seafood 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 sustainable seafood.
By 2020, where there is seafood that is certified sustainable by a credible organization, Sprouts will only source fresh, frozen and shelf-stable seafood species from fisheries or farm programs with one of these certifications:
- Global Aquaculture Association Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) 3 Star or higher
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
- Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (AK RFM)
- Iceland Responsible Fisheries (IRF)
Sprouts will only buy from clearly traceable sources and will not accept seafood that has been transshipped at sea without verifiable 100% independent observer coverage, including traceability, third party certification and chain of control documents. Vendors must provide evidence that products do not come from sources that utilize any illegal methods, including human rights violations. Additionally, Sprouts only purchases from vendors who follow the provisions of the Federal Lacey Act and Seafood Import Monitoring Program.
Sprouts will not purchase species that are threatened and have no credible improvement plan, including shark, bluefin tuna, Russian cod not in a FIP, some Russian crab, squid, octopus, Atlantic sardines, spiny lobsters and wild shrimp from areas with poor regulatory oversight. Sprouts will not purchase genetically modified seafood such as GMO farmed salmon.
Ensuring Sustainable Partners
To work with Sprouts, certified fisheries and farm operations must undergo a rigorous process to ensure that practices comply with requirements that have been established by international experts. An independent, specially trained third-party team will examine every aspect of an operation and issue a certificate that must be renewed on a time schedule that depends on the species being certified. The certification bodies Sprouts works with are all 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’ sustainability policy.
For some species, there are either no certifications available or too little certified product is 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.