Seafood Sustainability at Trader Joe's

How does Trader Joe's score on seafood sustainability?

Overall Sustainability


Score Explanation

Trader Joe's ranks among the OK stores in the industry, just shy of the "good" category. Its score dropped after failing to meet commitments to provide sustainability information to customers. While the retailer sells the fewest Red List species, it needs to increase its transparency so customers can make sustainable choices.

Policy Explanation

Has a sustainable seafood policy that covers most of its products, though does not share this publicly. Is the only retailer that has attempted to offer fully sustainable canned tuna options, but needs to develop and publicly share a sustainable canned tuna policy.

Transparency Explanation

Failed to deliver on a 2013 commitment to offer more information on its policies online or in stores. Does not sufficiently label seafood products that can help customers make informed choices.

Initiatives Explanation

Supports some seafood sustainability or conservation initiatives. Greenpeace applauds the company for publicly calling for the protection of the Bering Sea Canyons. Trader Joe's should take action to address human rights abuses in the seafood industry.

Red List Explanation

Sells six of the of the 22 Red List species: Alaska pollock, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallop, swordfish, tropical shrimp, and yellowfin tuna.



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Red List


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Source: 2015 Carting Away The Oceans Report

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Frequently Asked Questions

on seafood sustainability at Trader Joe's

Q: Should I buy tuna at Trader Joes?
A: Only Trader Joe's pole and line skipjack. Steer clear of its albacore and yellowfin tuna.
Q: Has Trader Joe's made sustainability a priority?
A: Trader Joe's has made great efforts to reduce its Red List sales, though it has not delivered on promises to communicate with customers about sustainable seafood.
Q: Is it ok to shop for frozen seafood at Trader Joe's?
A: Trader Joe's sells the fewest Red List species. However product labels are not always the clearest, so make sure you avoid the Red List species and only buy sustainable seafood.
Q: Is there anything I can do to encourage more sustainable practices at Trader Joe's?
A: Yes—you can add your name to the petition asking Trader Joe's to use more sustainable practices.

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