22.4.2003: Meldung: Wild Oats Markets: Sustainable Seafood Program

Wild Oats Furthers Its Commitment to Celebrate Earth Day Everyday by Bringing Leading Sustainable Seafood Program Into All Stores
Monday April 21, 11:43 am ET

BOULDER, Colo., April 21 -- Wild Oats Markets, Inc. (Nasdaq: OATS - News), a leading national natural and organic foods retailer, today announced all Wild Oats stores will offer EcoFish sustainable seafood in its frozen seafood departments, making it the nation"s largest retailer to carry the product.

With Earth Day as a backdrop, the announcement demonstrates EcoFish and Wild Oats" commitment to environmentally responsible seafood consumption. Because many of the world"s major fish stocks are in decline and traditional fishing communities are being threatened, Wild Oats customers have become more and more concerned about the impact their seafood purchases have on the environment. EcoFish gives them peace of mind -- knowing that they are supporting sustainable fisheries and family fishers.

Founded by Henry and Lisa Lovejoy, EcoFish created the first sustainable line of seafood products in the world. All EcoFish products must be approved by their independent Seafood Advisory Board, which is comprised of some of the world"s leading marine scientists and conservationists. To be approved, the fish must come from a fishery with a healthy population, a sustainable long-term management plan and the fishery must have a limited impact on the surrounding environment during harvest. In addition, the by-catch must be limited. By-catch is the capture of untargeted species during harvest, which are discarded and normally don"t survive. The majority of by-catch resulting from non-sustainable fishing methods is discarded and does not survive, which further depletes ocean populations. Additionally, EcoFish contributes to healthy oceans by reinvesting 25 percent of its pre-tax profits into communities and organizations around the world that promote responsible fishing practices.

"EcoFish and Wild Oats is a natural partnership," said Paul Gingerich, vice president of meat and seafood for Wild Oats Markets. "Its rigorous standards, quality product and fresh seafood help us provide our customers with the types of products they have come to expect from Wild Oats. We"re happy to be able to offer EcoFish seafood varieties in all of our Wild Oats and Nature"s stores."

In addition to marine-friendly practices, EcoFish sets an exceptionally high standard for quality and freshness. The fish is quick-frozen and vacuum packed within hours of harvest to lock in nutrients and quality. Wild Oats shoppers can choose from five of the fresh EcoFish products: Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon, Oregon Albacore Tuna, Alaskan Halibut, Ecuadorian Mahi Mahi and Chinese Bay Scallops.

"We are thrilled that Wild Oats has decided to feature EcoFish in its stores," said Henry Lovejoy, president and founder of EcoFish. "This signifies Wild Oats" commitment to a sustainable future for our oceans and provides its consumers with five delicious seafood options. Wild Oats customers will be assured by the EcoFish label that they are making an environmentally sound choice. We are delighted to be a part of the Wild Oats family."

About Wild Oats

Wild Oats Markets, Inc. is a nationwide chain of natural and organic foods markets in the U.S. and Canada. The Company operates 102 natural foods stores in 25 states and British Columbia, Canada. The Company"s markets include: Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry"s Marketplace, Nature"s -- a Wild Oats Market, Sun Harvest and Capers Community Markets. For more information, please visit the Company"s website at www.wildoats.com .

About EcoFish

EcoFish is the nation"s pioneer in providing sustainable seafood products to a nationwide audience of natural foods retailers and fine restaurants. In two short years, EcoFish"s innovative business model has captured the interest of the national and international media. The groundswell of consumer interest in EcoFish practices and products has been enormous. For more information, visit www.ecofish.com .

Source: Wild Oats Markets, Inc.
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