AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market is casting a larger net for its seafood supply, acquiring a distributor/processor in Seattle and creating a new distribution center in Atlanta for Caribbean and South American species in space left over by the retailer's purchase of Harry's Farmers Market in 2001.
The acquired company, Select Fish, Seattle, will process catches from Northern California up into Alaska, including salmon, halibut, spot prawns, Dungeness crab and black cod. The company has worked with Whole Foods since the retailer announced its participation in the Marine Stewardship Council's sustainable seafood program in 1999. The MSC certifies self-replenishing fisheries and publicizes those efforts with a logo for approved items. The London-based organization certified the Alaska salmon fishery in September 2000, including the sockeye, chum, chinook, coho and pink varieties.
The Atlanta operation will send fresh product daily sourced from the Southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (including snapper, wild shrimp, grouper and Mahi Mahi), and serve as the primary distribution point for items from Central and South America, such as tilapia, shrimp and trout.
Whole Foods' existing facility, Pigeon Cove, will continue to operate its own fleet of 26 vessels to catch cod, haddock, sea scallops, flounder and sole.