That's how much Wal-Mart buys each year, 50 million pounds, and if it pays 2 cents more per pound a year, it can set operating standards for the farms -- something the retail giant is starting to do. That extra $1 million seems like a deal, if it will clean up this aquaculture industry.
This is a huge issue since shrimp is the number 1 seafood choice and Wal-Mart is the number 1 buyer. Seafood Watch advises avoiding the stuff, largely because of the mangrove forests destroyed by this activity. (The farms also use copious amounts of antibiotics). Wal-Mart's move in this area came out last week at the Monterey Bay Aquarium conference and was mentioned in a piece by Corie Brown in the LA Times. We'll see how well they follow through.
Speaking of Wal-Mart, the company also agreed to post new signs on organic food products, according to an announcement by the USDA's National Organic Program. This will make sure that the products behind the signs are, in fact, organic rather than something else. Wal-Mart was taken to task over the signs by organic advocates and then state and federal regulators took a close look too. After months of denying there was a problem, Wal-Mart agreed to changes.