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Less Talk More Walk Needed by Seafood Brands on Sustainability: The 2023 Seafood Progress Report

Cooke's True North rates lowest across all brands with 27 points in latest Seafood Progress Report by Seachoice.

The 2023 Seafood Progress Report is out. The report by shows which seafood brands are laggers and which are leaders in social and sustainability commitments. Seachoice examined 13 of the most prevalent brands sold in the Canadian market for the report.

The first report was published five years ago in an effort to address Canada's weak regulatory requirements for seafood labelling. Most of the seafood consumers buy is not being labelled with critical information, such as whether it is wild or farmed and where it was actually caught or farmed. For example, True North doesn't label their Atlantic Salmon as farmed.

"For the second year in a row, True North, a division of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., is the only brand to decline to engage and take accountability for its role in the seafood supply chain. Consequently, True North received the lowest score across all brands at 27 per cent."

Seafood Report is a platform that SeaChoice has used to report on major Canadian grocers’ performance against their commitments to sustainable and socially responsible seafood since 2018. And in 2022, SeaChoice expanded its platform to include some of the most prevalent seafood brands sold in the Canadian market. The brands in the current report include;

Aqua Star, Blue Water, Clearwater, Cloverleaf, DOM, Export Packers, Highliner, Janes, Ocean Brands, Olivia, Rio Mare, Toppits, True North.

Feedback sent to retailers and brands via the consumer action tools indicate that consumers are are increasingly frustrated by haphazard labelling of seafood products due to Canada’s weak regulatory requirements. Seachoice polling results found Canadians want stronger requirements and more information. Last years report showed that grocer's are applying just over half the information they should on seafood labels, and brands are applying less than a third. Indicating there's a long way to go.

“Sustainability is no longer just a marketing buzzword to be seen at the Global Seafood Expo,” SeaChoice supply chain analyst Dana Cleaveley said. “Companies need to prove to their customers and shareholders that they are taking meaningful steps to address social and environmental sustainability. Accountability and transparency are no longer optional.”


Seafood Progress — an initiative introduced by SeaChoice five years ago to help drive accountability and transparency in seafood supply chains — has evolved significantly over the past year. Last year, expanded beyond grocers to include major seafood brands. SeaChoice shared the first-year results for brands with the public in May, followed by the fifth-year results for grocers in June.

You can view the 2023 Seafood Report here. You can take action and provide feedback about a brand or grocer with Seachoice's online resource for consumer action tool here.


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