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Metro halts sales of bluefin, hoki, roughyprint

Metro halts sales of bluefin, hoki, roughy image

As part of the announcement made Thursday, Metro said it halted sales of seven threatened species — western Atlantic cod, bluefin tuna, New Zealand hoki, orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, skate and shark — but added that it may resume sales of the species if the stocks “climb back up to acceptable levels.”

The Montreal-based retailer said it developed a new, more transparent labeling system to help consumers make informed buying decisions. The labels now include scientific name, product origin, production method and the presence of a sustainability standard, where applicable. Metro is also training its counter staff to answer consumer inquiries and recommend substitutes to species no longer available.

“Metro’s sustainable fisheries policy is an important milestone in its history. This initiative is proof that we want to go beyond the simple role of distributor and become a player in sustainable development,” said Robert Sawyer, Metro’s executive VP and COO. “The adoption of a sustainable fisheries policy is consistent with our corporate responsibility approach.”

Environmental activist group Greenpeace was quick to applaud Metro’s move and used the opportunity to condemn Costco as “the only major Canadian retailer that refuses to take any such action.” 

“It’s encouraging to see Metro implementing its policy and taking the issue of overfishing seriously,” said Sarah King, Greenpeace oceans campaigner. “Metro’s stopping the sale of Atlantic cod in particular shows a commitment to the future health of Canada’s fish stocks. We are asking all retailers still selling this species to follow suit.”

In May, Metro announced that it’s just over a year away from offering only sustainable seafood. The company has annual sales of more than CAD 11 billion and 65,000-plus employees. Its banners include Metro, Metro Plus, GP, Super C and Food Basics.

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