Hy-Vee, Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa, added a Responsible Sourcing Commitment to its comprehensive Seafood Procurement Policy. Developed in partnership with FishWise, Santa Cruz, Calif., the policy protects marine resources and ensures future seafood supplies. Hy-Vee has committed to sell responsibly sourced fresh and frozen seafood that is rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings or is sourced from credible, time-bound improvement processes by the end of 2015.
Hy-Vee added the Responsible Sourcing Commitment to its Seafood Procurement Policy to underscore the company's commitment to providing high-quality seafood that is safe for consumption and also harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term viability (sustainability) while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.
"It is Hy-Vee's mission to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment," says Nate Stewart, vice president of perishables. "We aim to be a destination for sustainable seafood, where customers can be confident that they are supporting the health of their families and that of the oceans by purchasing seafood sold at Hy-Vee."
Hy-Vee also plans to launch a customer education program for its service case, whereby fresh seafood items that meet the procurement policy will receive a “Responsible Choice” call-out.
"Hy-Vee is taking significant steps to improve the sustainability of its seafood offerings and is establishing itself as a leader in this field," says Ashley Greenley, project manager for FishWise. "We are excited to work with them on their journey toward responsibly sourced seafood."
A key example of Hy-Vee's commitment toward sustainability was its transition away from Russian king crab, a fishery that has been overexploited and is subject to high levels of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, in favor of U.S. king crab fisheries in Alaska, which have healthy stocks and strong management.