In a recent article on its website, Target explained how it developed its seafood sustainability goal and the process of implementing that directive.
The Minneapolis-based retailer announced earlier this year that 97% of all its fresh and frozen seafood, and 100% of its Target-brand products, is sustainable, traceable or in a time-bound improvement process, slightly off its goal of all seafood sold meeting that criteria by 2015.
Target started its work on seafood sustainability in 2011. The retailer worked with its vendors and nonprofit FishWise to develop and meet criteria.
“It really was an industry-leading project,” Nic Berkeland, senior seafood buyer, said in the article. “When we first started out, there weren’t a lot of suppliers whose fisheries or farms were ready, willing and able to meet our criteria on such an ambitious timeline.”
Many vendors had to implement traceability measures and switch to more sustainable fisheries, Target said. Berkeland credited the partnership with FishWise with facilitating the changes.
“And the seafood community was really open to what we were doing — they knew the industry was moving toward sustainably sourced products, and that making these updates to their businesses now would help them in the future,” said Berkeland.
Target took a long view to the process, recognizing it couldn’t achieve its 100% sustainability goal immediately, while also setting yearly benchmarks, according to Gry Engen, senior buyer, owned brands.
“Today, sustainability is a major factor in decisions we make across our business,” said Amanda Irish, VP, owned brand essentials, Target. “We aim to act as a progressive force for curating sustainable products, so we can create long-term value that goes beyond Target and into our communities.”