US grocer drops BC farmed salmon

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2005

Chain says that the BC industry is not meeting the environmental and social criteria they want to support

VANCOUVER, BC – Colorado based Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, a retail grocer with over 100 stores throughout the U.S, has decided to discontinue selling farmed salmon from British Columbia (BC) because of risks to the environment and First Nations culture.

This is an excellent first step for Wild Oats says Dom Repta, Markets Director for the Friends of Clayoquot Sound and the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR). Their decision will send a loud message to the BC salmon farming industry that they need to change their practices if they are to sell their salmon to US grocers.

In 2004, a team of Wild Oats executives traveled to the Broughton Archipelago, a cluster of island on the Central Coast of BC that is marked with over 25 fish farms, with members of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform. Local researchers and residents demonstrated how open net cage salmon farming has caused lethal sea lice out breaks on wild salmon and contaminated the traditional food sources of the local First Nations.

We strive to source products that have the lowest possible impact on the environment. One of our top priorities is to support industries with integrity, respect and that are committed to positively contributing to the communities that are affected by their food production. It was apparent to us that the salmon farming companies were not living up to our standards.2 Says Sonja Tuitele, spokes person for Wild Oats Natural Marketplace.

Wild Oats decision has drawn favourable support from the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council (MTTC) of the Broughton Archipelago. It is imperative that all retailers selling BC farmed salmon follow Wild Oats lead. Salmon farming in the Musgamagw Traditional Territories is an infringement of Aboriginal Rights and Title and negatively impacts our traditional way of living.2 Says Connie McIvor, Local Coordiantor for the MTTC. 3If multinational salmon farming companies showed the same respect, we would not be faced with devastating impacts to our wild salmon caused by the destructive practices of salmon farming2

Wild Oats Natural Marketplace was named one of the best one hundred corporate citizens in 2004 in the Business Ethics Corporate Responsibility Report.


For more information please contact:

Dom Repta, Friends of Clayoquot Sound Markets Director, (604) 699-0065,

Connie Mcivor, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council, (250) 974-5516,

Sonja Tuitele, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, (720) 562-4984,

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