Metcalfe's Named Best Store in State for Sustainable Seafood
Greenpeace scores company's Madison, Tosa stores among top 10 in nation for eco-friendly practices.
Wauwatosa is swimming in good seafood.
Along "Grocery Row" on West State Street, Metcalfe's Sentry, Pick 'n Save and Outpost Natural Foods all compete for customers' dinner dollars with strong offerings of fresh-from-the-deep delights. On West North Avenue, Sendik's is known for the quality in its seafood case.
And if you want to get as close as possible to the source, Tosa is home to Empire Fish Co., the Milwaukee area's largest wholesale seafood purveyor, which also operates a retail store at 11200 W. Watertown Plank Rd.
But while leadership in freshness and flavor, and of course in price, could be debated, the international organization Greenpeace says it has settled the question of which supermarket, not just in Tosa but in all of Wisconsin, has the best buying practices for seafood sustainability.
And the winner is: Metcalfe's, with stores here and in Madison.
According to a report in Madison Commons, an online community journalism cooperative sponsored by the UW-Madison School of Journalism, Greenpeace also scored Metcalfe's among the 10 best supermakets in the nation on a “supermarket scorecard” it developed.
According to Commons reporter Anna Asendorf, Metcalfe's built its sustainable seafood program through a partnership with FishWise, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the sustainability and financial performance of seafood retailers, distributors, and producers.
FishWise introduced Metcalfe's to sustainable seafood standards established by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and helped the company set up protocols to adhere to them.
Asendorf reports that the program is challenging because it involves much more than adopting one set of strict rules and then following them. An ocean of changing variables in seafood stocks and industry practices means that to continue to meet its standards, Metcalfe's remains in constant contact with its partner organizations to monitor the market.
Among what are considered best practices for sustainability of wild stocks are that it be safely caught (not harming other species); that capture not deplete local or global stocks below sustainable populations; and among farmed stocks that they not damage the environment and not deplete stocks of other species used as feedstocks.