Finalist, Vision Category
In 2009, Loblaw became the first major food retailer in Canada to commit to sourcing 100 per cent of the seafood in its stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. By 2014, Loblaw had converted nearly 90 percent of sales in key seafood categories to products from sources that fall in one of the following categories: certified sustainable, acceptable with conditions, or making meaningful progress towards sustainability.
In its stores, Loblaw has certified fresh fish counters, introduced Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) products to market, and even launched MSC-certified cat food. In 2010, Loblaw ran a high-profile campaign in which they displayed empty trays at its fresh seafood counters to highlight its decision to delist at-risk species until a viable sustainable product was available. When Loblaw made its sustainable-seafood commitment, thousands of products, and corresponding species and stocks, had to be assessed. Entire producer communities—such as Newfoundland’s 3Ps cod fishery—rose to the challenge. Given that less than a generation ago, Canada experienced one of the largest ecological collapses in recorded history and a moratoria on cod fishing resulted, this demonstrates what is possible when a sustainable vision is set and followed toward implementation.