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Calgary Co-op's 'Reel' program for seafood sustainability


A new in-store labelling system adopted by Calgary Co-op, along with 165 Co-op food stores in more than 100 communities throughout Western Canada aims to make finding environmentally responsible seafood products that much easier.

“Reel in the Solution!” is a sustainable seafood program developed by Federated Co-operatives Limited and SeaChoice, a partnership between five Canadian conservation organizations that provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood.

A green SeaChoice label indicates a “Best Choice” item that is well managed, abundant, and caught or farmed in an environmentally sustainable way. A yellow label means there are some concerns about the product, while red labels indicate items that should be avoided.

Bill Wareham, a marine conservation specialist and SeaChoice’s representative from the David Suzuki Foundation, believes the new labelling system and take-home reference cards will help educate customers. He says it will also send a message to underperforming fisheries to improve their methods.

“The power of the retailer to put the right products on the shelf is really where change happens,” Wareham added.

Vic Huard, Federated Co-operatives vice-president, corporate affairs said: “With the support and guidance of SeaChoice, we are pleased to introduce the 'Reel in the Solution!' program as the next step in our commitment to becoming a leader around sustainable fisheries and aquaculture at all levels of the seafood supply chain–from ocean to store to dinner table.”

SeaChoice was founded in 2006 as a joint initiative between the Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Ecology Action Centre, the Living Oceans Society, and Sierra Club B.C.

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