Albertsons commits to UN’s sustainable goal

Company joins Seafood Task Force, declares health of oceans, health of humankind “interdependent”

Albertsons Cos. has pledged its support for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14, also known as the “Oceans Goal.”

The UN initiative states that oceans, alongside coastal and marine resources, “play an essential role in human well-being and social and economic development worldwide.”

The report also states that a $28 trillion chunk of the global economy each year can be credited to coastal and marine resources.

The framework for Goal 14 was developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators and agreed to as a launching pad for change by the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission in March 2016.

Targets of the initiative include, but are not limited to, preventing and “significantly” reducing marine pollution of all kinds, minimizing the impacts of ocean acidification via enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels and gaining a tighter regulatory grasp on overfishing.

Albertsons has also joined the Seafood Task Force. The organization’s strategy, as stated on its website, is to “focus on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) because [it] believe[s] that social and environmental issues are closely linked to IUU.”

The company described the organization as an “influential, international multi-stakeholder alliance tackling human rights and environmental issues in seafood supply chains,” in a release announcing its pledge.

Other current members include Walmart, Costco, Bumble Bee Foods, Publix and Target.

Both moves by Albertsons were made in concert with World Oceans Day, which was recognized June 8.

"We recognize that the well-being of people and the sustainability of our oceans are interdependent," said Buster Houston, director of seafood at Albertsons Cos., in a prepared statement.

"As one of the largest U.S. retailers of seafood, we are committed to protecting the world's oceans so they can remain a bountiful natural resource that contributes to global food security, the livelihoods of hard-working fishermen and the global economy."

Based in Boise, Idaho, Albertsons set a Top 20 by 2022 goal in the fall of 2016 which mandated that by 2022, 100% of the top 20 wild and farm-raised fresh and private label frozen seafood would be sourced in compliance with the store’s Responsible Seafood Policy.

The policy focuses on issues such as traceability, higher environmental standards for prepared seafood and fresh and frozen items that come from select fisheries or farms.

Albertsons operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 20 different banners. They include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Acme.

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