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Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, the first national “Certified Organic” grocer, and uniquely positioned as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store™. It currently has over 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and employs approximately 87,000 team members. In fiscal year 2016, the company had sales of approximately $16 billion. 

With its rigorous seafood sourcing policy, Wholefoods were the first national retailer to create storewide commitments to one-by-one tuna catch methods, spanning grocery products and prepared foods items. Under the new policy, all canned tuna at Whole Foods Market must come from fisheries using only pole-and-line, troll, or handline catch methods, all of which take fish one by one, preventing bycatch and creating more jobs in coastal communities. These fisheries must either be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council or rated green or yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center.

Every supplier must also use Trace Register, traceability software that tracks each lot of tuna at every point from vessel to can. The traceability data are continuously crosschecked to help verify sourcing and prevent illegally caught fish from entering the supply chain.

These continual advancements in policies and sourcing are part of Whole Foods Market’s mission to create a model that moves the seafood industry toward greater sustainability.

Joining the International Pole & Line Foundation amplifies our collective efforts to be a positive force for change for our oceans and the fishing communities who depend on them. IPNLF has been a key partner, helping us to develop our new canned tuna sourcing policy, and supporting Whole Foods Market’s mission to move the seafood industry toward greater sustainability.

Carrie Brownstein (Global Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator)