Commitment to Sustainable Seafood

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Background

Target values the richness of our natural world and seeks to protect ecosystems impacted by our operations. We aim to do our part to source products in a way that helps protect the planet and the communities that provide them. We want our guests to be confident that the seafood they buy at Target is wild caught or farmed using sustainable practices that help protect ocean resources for future generations. Due to the environmental and social risks in the seafood industry, Target engages with vendors and participates in initiatives to increase the sustainability of its seafood supply chain. Target will continue to collaborate with supply chain partners and industry stakeholders to leverage our collective scale, influence and expertise to advance sustainable seafood.

Commitment

Fresh and frozen seafood

Target is committed to sourcing fresh and frozen seafood, including sushi, that is:

  1. Green or Yellow rated according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or certified to an environmental standard deemed equivalent to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Green or Yellow ratings; and/or
  2. Engaged in an improvement project making measurable and time-bound progress according to FisheryProgress.org (preferred) or another credible and public industry reporting platform. 

 Shelf-stable tuna

Target is committed to sourcing tuna from fisheries that are:

  1. Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council with supply chain traceability (Chain of Custody); and/or 
  2. Green or Yellow rated according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; and/or
  3. Engaged in an improvement project making measurable and time-bound progress according to FisheryProgress.org (preferred) or another credible and public industry reporting platform.

 
Furthermore, Target preferentially partners with vendors that: 

  • Have a published responsible purchasing policy and are participating in initiatives that are working to address environmental and social responsibility, and traceability; and/or
  • Are members of the International Pole & Line Foundation; and/or 
  • Are International Seafood Sustainability Foundation participating companies. 

Pet food

Target is committed to sourcing seafood components in owned brand pet food that are:

  1. Green or Yellow rated according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or certified to an environmental standard deemed equivalent to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Green or Yellow ratings; and/or
  2. Engaged in an improvement project making measurable and time-bound progress according to FisheryProgress.org (preferred) or another credible and public industry reporting platform.

Social responsibility 

Respect for human rights is a fundamental principle of Target’s business practices and standards. We expect our seafood vendors to share this principle and uphold our standards by complying with our labor and human rights policies and Standards of Vendor Engagement, and adhering to the expectations established in the Target Business Partner Code of Conduct. We will continue collaborative efforts with companies and organizations to find effective ways to promote ethical working conditions throughout seafood supply chains. 

Policy engagement 

Target understands that strong policy and management at the local, state, national and international levels is critical to the long-term sustainability and social responsibility of seafood production. Therefore, Target will support and engage in policy and management reform initiatives that it believes would lead to positive social, economic and environmental outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture production, including ensuring implementation of core labor standards.
 
Target supports strengthened Regional Fishery Management Organization (RFMO) at-sea transshipment regulations and international agreements advocating for human rights at sea. We also support counter illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing legislation and will encourage our vendors to do so as well. 

Legal compliance and traceability 

Target recognizes that traceability in seafood supply chains is important for verifying that our seafood comes from sources that meet our sustainable seafood commitment. Target works towards industry best practices for traceability by reviewing and communicating its expectations to vendors annually, collecting data back to the point of harvest, conducting bi-annual risk assessments, requesting and verifying chain of custody documentation, mapping high-risk supply chains, and participating in multi-stakeholder dialogues that support seafood data exchange. We are committed to continued engagement with our vendors to improve supply chain transparency.

Target requires legal and verifiable fishing practices that comply with all applicable laws. At-sea transshipment is a common practice in tuna fisheries often used for the purpose of increasing the operational efficiency of fishing by reducing fuel and supply costs. While a legal practice, it can hide unsustainable, unethical or illegal activities such as overfishing or labor abuses. Transshipment often occurs in the waters of developing coastal states or on the high seas where there is little capacity for monitoring and oversight, further elevating the risks.
 
Target vendors must follow the best practices outlined below: 

  • Monitoring and oversight: Transshipment events must be electronically monitored and take place with 100% human or electronic observer coverage with supporting documentation referencing authorization to transship in RFMO waters.
  • Transparency: Vendors must be able to provide transshipment information promptly upon request, including post-activity declarations.
  • Worker protections: Transshipment activities must adhere to national and international regulations related to vessel and crew safety and worker protections.