- Publix plans to start selling farm-raised salmon from Miami in select stores in November through a collaboration with salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire, a spokesperson for the initiative said.
- Last month, the land-based salmon farming company announced its first harvest at scale of U.S.-raised Bluehouse-raised salmon, which aren’t raised with antibiotics or hormones and are traceable "from egg to plate." "We envision sustainably sourcing with transparency as the expectation of customers in the future," Guy Pizzuti, business development director for seafood at Publix, said in an email. "They will be asking for more information and we must be in a position to provide that information."
- The partnership is Publix’s latest effort to increase its sustainable seafood offering, further carbon reduction and support innovation in farming technologies.
Publix’s collaboration with Atlantic Sapphire moves forward the grocer’s sustainable seafood efforts as supermarkets increasingly focus on sustainability and environmental protection.
Seafood sales saw roughly 30% growth in Q2 of this year from 2019, according to the United Fresh Produce Association. Currently, seafood in the U.S. is primarily imported from Chile, Norway, Scotland and Canada. Raising fish domestically cuts down the carbon footprint of imported seafood.
"By moving the operation on land and under roof, you have the ability to increase production while reducing the impact on the environment," Pizzuti said, adding that the partnership can also reduce the trade deficit in seafood.
Publix has been working on its seafood sustainability in recent years. In 2017, it became the first U.S. grocer to participate in the Ocean Disclosure Project, a global platform for voluntary disclosure of seafood sourcing that now includes Walmart, Aldi U.S., The Giant Company, Sam’s Club, Food Lion and more.
Last year, Publix teamed up with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, which it had been working with since 2009, and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative to help shoppers identify which seafood products were sustainably sourced or responsibly raised or caught through icons on price tags and shelf tags. Publix is among the grocers, including H-E-B and Natural Grocers, that have sustainable seafood policies.
Greenpeace USA’s ranking of 22 major U.S. supermarkets on seafood sustainability and social responsibility in 2018 placed Publix at No. 17, noting that the grocer improved its score from previous years due to increased transparency, but received poor marks on selling fish that are red listed for reasons like bycatch, poor management and habitat destruction.
Other grocers have recently upped their commitments to sustainably sourced seafood. This summer, Walmart started more sustainable sourcing for the canned tuna sold under its Great Value private label. A few weeks ago, Giant Food joined the Ocean Disclosure Project and Albertsons announced a new project to improve seafood traceability.
Atlantic Sapphire’s website says that its water systems use 99% recycled and filtered water and don’t release toxins into the ocean. The company relies on trucking to deliver the salmon in the U.S.