Walmart Sustainability

While this true for most for herbivorous species

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Unformatted text preview: environments. For example, farmed salmon had more antibiotics administered by weight than any other type of livestock,27 and more than 10-times the toxins (dioxin, PCBs, and other potential carcinogens) of wild salmon.28 Farmed salmon also required artificial coloring to achieve the appearance of wild salmon and was considered by many to have inferior flavor. A common perception was that aquaculture relieved pressure on wild fisheries while adding to the global food supply. While this true for most for herbivorous species, carnivorous fish (such as salmon and shrimp) required two to four times the amount of wild-caught fish and fish products to feed as the volume of fish outputs produced.29 The conversion of coastal ecosystems to aquaculture ponds also destroyed wild ocean fisheries by degrading coastal waters with antibiotics, chemicals, feed, and feces, as well as increasing the risk of disease and genetic contamination when fish escaped from the farms. Within this complex and ominous business environment, Walmart was sourcing approximately $750 million in seafood annually. Although output from the world’s fisheries had declined to 3 percent of production levels in the year 1900,e the company’s volume of seafood business was growing at roughly 25 percent per year. “I was already having a hard time getting supply,” said Peter Redmond, vice president for seafood and deli, and captain of the Walmart seafood network. “If we add 250 stores a year, imagine how hard it will be in five years.” Redmond believed that continuity of supply was the single greatest long-term issue facing the seafood network. Because Walmart’s seafood business was transaction-based, the company also faced near-term supply-related challenges. The company had difficulty procuring an adequate supply of fish if another buyer offered a higher price, even after Walmart had negotiated an apparently firm agreement. Suppliers might also provide high quality samples but then deliver inferior products, which led to markdowns and write-offs. When Redmond l...
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