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Trace Your Fish from Sea to Store

August 5, 2011
Local BC Fishermen Join Forces to Help Customers Trace Fish

Victoria, BC, Aug 5 - Thrifty Foods partners with Ecotrust Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and economic development initiatives, to help customers trace their Wild Red Spring BC Salmon from its origins to their dinner plates. The trace can be done with the click of a mouse - thanks to a website called Thisfish.

"Thrifty Foods has had tracking in place for BC and US seafood for the past six years," says Jim Dores, President of Thrifty Foods. "The difference with thisfish.info is that now it is so easy for our customers to use and to access at any time."

Thisfish began in 2008, when a group of Vancouver Island fishermen approached Vancouver-based non-profit Ecotrust Canada to develop a traceability system. In May 2010, Ecotrust Canada launched Thisfish and its website http://thisfish.info/, which allows consumers to trace their seafood back to the fisherman who caught it. Pacific Halibut and BC Salmon are great examples of popular seafood items that have been tagged by fishermen and traced through Thisfish.

"Thisfish connects you to your fisherman, the boat the fish was caught from, and the waters that boat calls home," says Tasha Sutcliffe, Fisheries Program Director for Ecotrust Canada. "You can even access photos of the boat and crew, along with details from the captain's logbook and a map showing where on the coast the catch took place."

Thisfish works like a barcode or tagging system, with a unique numerical code assigned to each catch. The customer can input that tag into the "trace" field on http://thisfish.info/ from any computer, tablet, or smartphone and instantly learn the whole story of where their fish was caught, who caught it, and what the weather was like that day. Pasco Seafood - the source of Spring Salmon for all Thrifty Foods stores - is one of the BC businesses in partnership with Ecotrust, which means that their boats and their crews are traceable through Thisfish.

While the program is new to Thrifty Foods, other Sobeys locations have been using it for about six months. Spring Salmon is the first Thrifty Foods species to take part in this program, to be followed by Lingcod, Halibut and Sablefish later this year. Thisfish traceability joins other Thrifty Foods ecologically and socially-responsible seafood initiatives, alongside partnerships with the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise certification program (since 2009) and their ongoing work with K'ómoks First Nation-owned Pentlatch Seafoods on Vancouver Island.

One of the largest private sector employers in British Columbia, Thrifty Foods is an operating division of Sobeys Inc., a national grocery retailer and food distributor headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods, as well as Lawtons Drug Stores. Sobeys Inc. is committed to providing the most worthwhile experience for its customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at http://www.sobeys.com/.

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For more information, please contact:
Erin Coulson, Communications Coordinator
Thrifty Foods
Tel: (250) 483-1659 Cell: (250) 216-7007
Email: ecoulson@thriftyfoods.com