Court rules case can proceed against Aldi over claims it deceptively markets its salmon as sustainable sourced

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected Aldi’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit that accuses the supermarket chain of deceptively marketing its salmon as sustainably sourced.

The lawsuit claims that Aldi’s use of the slogan “Simple. Sustainable. Seafood” on its product packaging could result in consumers believing that its salmon is farmed under high environmental and animal welfare standards, when it is actually sourced unsustainably.

The class action argues that Aldi’s Atlantic salmon is sourced, partly, from Chile, which Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch urges consumers to avoid purchasing salmon farm over concerns the country’s methods are ecologically dangerous. The claimant behind the lawsuit argues that production via “net pen aquaculture” results in fish being crowded into cages within natural waterways that, as they are connected to the wider marine environment, could result in pollution and escaped salmon spreading from the farms.

The complaint cites a scientific paper as arguing that the farming method used in Chile can result in “risks of damage to wild salmon populations, ecosystems, and society are large.” Further, it argues net pens are unnatural, industrial farms that create high stress conditions and subject Aldi’s Atlantic salmon to undue suffering.

The court ruled that the allegation Aldi’s use of the word “sustainable” is misleading was plausible, taking into account the fact that Aldi’s Atlantic salmon packaging contained a “BAP Certified” label, that refers to the seafood certification of “Best Aquaculture Practices.”

The lawsuit was field in May 2021 by Jessica Rawson, on behalf of herself and others in the same boat. She is seeking damages and restitution.

SalmonBusiness has approached Aldi for comment.


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