Roche Bros., a Wellesley Hills, Mass.-based retailer, unveiled a seafood traceability program in conjunction with their longtime seafood partner, Foley Fish, Boston.
The new Sea Trace program provides increased transparency regarding where the seafood at Roche Bros. comes from and validates that the seafood is sustainably harvested and naturally processed. Customers will now be able to scan the QR (quick response) codes for select species to see a photo of the fishing boat, the location fished and even a description of the fishing gear used.
“At Roche Bros., we have always been committed to offering responsibly harvested seafood,” says Arthur Ackles, seafood director. “We are now taking steps to better communicate that commitment to our customers, beginning with an unparalleled level of traceability from the store all the way back to the boat.”
As consumers trace their seafood selections, Roche Bros. offers a plethora of information in-store, including a sustainability video and consumer brochure to help showcase how their selections are sustainably fished and naturally processed. Leveraging educational materials from Foley Fish, the supermarket will list the fishery management programs associated with each species offered.
“Fishery management is complex. Just labeling the product red, yellow or green oversimplifies it and doesn’t give the consumer enough information to make a well-considered choice,” says Laura Foley Ramsden, owner of Foley Fish and member of the New England Fishery Management Council, Newburyport, Mass. “We want to encourage customers to select U.S. caught fish with good conscience, knowing that the seafood has been harvested sustainably and handled naturally at the Foley plant to maintain its ‘just caught’ flavor.”
Once harvested, fish destined for sale at Roche Bros. are cleaned and filleted exclusively at Foley Fish, without any chemicals or adulteration, ever. Foley delivers directly to Roche Bros. stores, avoiding any warehousing that could compromise this groundbreaking traceability.
“We are hopeful that the new Sea Trace program will allow customers to also support local fisherman, many of whom shop in the Roche Bros. stores,” says Ackles. “Using Sea Trace, customers can be confident that they are getting only the freshest, most sustainably sourced and responsibly delivered seafood available. And now, they can trace it back to its origin directly.”