31.07.03

31.7.2003: Meldung: Wild Oats Markets sustainable farmed salmon program

Wild Oats Markets, Inc. , a leading national natural and organic foods retailer, today announced that, in August, it will introduce a groundbreaking sustainable farmed salmon program into all of its Wild Oats stores that currently carry farmed salmon. This announcement, coupled with the Company""s partnership with EcoFish sustainable seafood, makes Wild Oats the largest national retailer to bring its customers a wide breadth of environmentally friendly seafood options.

The new Wild Oats farmed salmon is sourced from the most remote salmon farming area in the world, around Clare Island off the West coast of Ireland. The salmon is raised without the use of antibiotics or artificial colorings in open water pens, which mirrors the natural habitat in which wild salmon live. The fish used to feed these salmon come from within a 30-mile radius of the Clare Island Sea Farm. The salmon feed is tested for PCBs and is shown to have significantly lower levels of these contaminants than farmed salmon from virtually all other sources -- making Clare Island farmed salmon comparable to Alaskan wild-caught salmon in terms of environmental sustainability and lower risk for contamination. Testing revealed the feed used for the Clare Island farmed salmon tested to .568 parts per trillion for PCB levels. This is significantly lower than the EPA recommendation for twice-a-week consumption of 4-to-6 parts per billion, and the current FDA standard of 2,000 parts per billion.

"In our endless pursuit to identify the highest quality, freshest food for our customers, we believe we have found the best source of farmed salmon in the world that is as close to wild salmon from an environmental impact than any other farmed salmon out there," said Paul Gingerich, Vice President of Meat, Seafood and Food Service operations for Wild Oats Markets. "Once we bring this salmon into our stores, beginning in August, customers will be able to enjoy the quality, freshness and taste of wild-caught salmon year-round."

The new farmed salmon at Wild Oats will complement its existing offering of wild-caught salmon in all of its stores. In addition to being raised in a habitat that closely mirrors that of wild salmon, the fish are fed an organic diet, which contains only organic or natural ingredients. The pigment used in the feed is a yeast-based pigment called phaffia, which is a natural source of astaxathin, the pigment used color many farmed salmon pink or red.

The farming procedures adopted by the Clare Island Sea Farm are overall more environmentally friendly than most salmon farms. Examples of this include power washing of cage nets by seawater jet spray and the use of herbal remedies to combat common sea pests. Stocking densities are set at a maximum of ten kilos per cubic meter of water, which effectively means that every two fish share one cubic meter of water.

"Our farmed salmon from some of the most pristine waters in the world is a perfect fit for Wild Oats," said Patrick Martin, CEO of Emerald Isle Global Trading Ltd., the exclusive U.S. importer of the Clare Island Sea Farm salmon. "Our standards for freshness, quality and environmental stewardship will allow Wild Oats to offer its customers a high-quality farmed salmon program that meets the European Union""s standards for organic certification, and is the highest rated organic seafood in the world. We are pleased to make our national entree into the U.S. exclusively with Wild Oats Markets."

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 100 natural foods stores in 25 states and British Columbia, Canada. The Company""s markets include: Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry""s Marketplace, Sun Harvest and Capers Community Markets. For more information, please visit the Company""s website at http://www.wildoatsinc.com/ .

About Clare Island Sea Farm

Clare Island Sea Farm was established in 1985 when founder and original salmon farmer, David Beard developed an environmentally friendly organic salmon farming operation. His mission was to provide consumers with a high- quality product that was comparable with wild-caught salmon without depleting ocean salmon populations. The farm is located six kilometers off County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland in the raging pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Clare Island farmed salmon is offered in the finest restaurants in France, Germany and Switzerland, and will only be available in the U.S. at certain coastal restaurants and at Wild Oats Natural Marketplace stores across the country.

For more information, please visit the Company""s website at http://www.wildoatsinc.com.
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