Ocean Vacations: Reduce Your Impact

Hy-Vee customers from the Midwest often love to spend vacations by the ocean, relaxing and taking in the sights, smells and sounds. Even while on vacation, there are small steps travelers can take to reduce their impact on the ocean.

Reducing Impacts on Oceans

  1. Trash and Recycling: After spending a day outdoors, make sure to pack all trash before leaving the beach and dispose of it properly. Recycle any materials that you can, such as paper or beverage containers.
  2. Respect the Environment. Don’t touch or feed the ocean animals. Travelers may come across animals on the land and in the sea, but it’s best to leave them alone and simply observe, not interfere. Also, do not damage or remove any plants.
  3. Choose environmentally friendly transport. Perhaps you’ll stay oceanside, but if not, consider walking, biking or at least taking public transportation to get there. Be sure to stay on trails and public footpaths to respect the local environment.
  4. The Seafood Watch App: Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free Seafood Watch app to your phone. Dining out while on vacation is always a highlight. Using the app, you’ll have instant access to find sustainable seafood options at restaurants and stores and more.

For more information, visit the Ocean Conservancy and Surfrider Foundation.

Hy-Vee Launches “How To” Cooking Videos For Seafood And More

Hy-Vee How-To Counter Signs

 

Hy-Vee is excited to announce the launch of a new series of “How To” videos, educating customers on quick and easy meal solutions. These YouTube videos focus on items from Hy-Vee’s full-service meat and seafood departments and can be accessed through a QR code that is placed on corresponding items purchased in the meat and seafood departments.

Stickers like the ones pictured below are placed on items, giving customers an easy way to access delicious recipes. Hy-Vee’s hope is that this will assist customers in new cooking techniques or encourage them to try a new product and prepare it with confidence.

Hy-Vee How-To stickers

Nearly 30 videos have already been launched, with dozens more in production. Many cuts of meat and seafood are featured. For Seafoodies, some video recipes you may enjoy are: Mahi Mahi Tacos, Simple Seasoned Shrimp, Grilled Salmon, Crab with Garlic Butter Sauce, Seared Tuna Steaks with Pineapple-Peach Salsa and Easy Baked Tilapia. The videos average about a minute in length, letting chefs enjoy a quick overview and then get to work. The video pages also have a link to the full recipe.

View the Mahi Mahi Tacos video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWFiMwxG21w&list=PLSpULMuslSprlZr2shIOZNkOh_zVzxq-2&index=21

Seafood You Can Trust

When it comes to quality and freshness, Hy-Vee always wants to be the best at it. That’s why Hy-Vee placed a full-time U.S.D.C. Lot Inspector onsite at PDI, our perishable distribution center in Ankeny, Iowa.

The inspector examines all of our fresh and frozen seafood to ensure that products meet all of Hy-Vee’s standards and specifications. This is a voluntary program that goes above standard government requirements for seafood.

Seafood is a global industry, which requires Hy-Vee to source responsible seafood from all over the world. Having a full-time government inspector in our warehouse every day, inspecting the products we bring in, helps us to ensure that we are truly sending our stores and customers the freshest, highest quality responsibly sourced seafood in the Midwest.

I have worked with Bryan Sauve, our inspector, for several years now. He is one of the most thorough and knowledgeable people I have ever met in the industry. He takes pride and ownership in what he does. We are very thankful to have him onsite and as a part of our seafood program. He has helped Hy-Vee create one of the best seafood programs in the country.

Our customers can buy Hy-Vee seafood with confidence, knowing that they are bringing home some of the best seafood available.

Guardian + FishWise Interactive Article

FishwiseFishWise is a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that works with Hy-Vee and other major U.S. retailers to promote the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems through environmentally responsible business practices. We partnered with Hy-Vee in 2011, and since then, we have worked together determined to transform Hy-Vee’s seafood department into a top destination for sustainable seafood.

Recently, FishWise partnered with the Guardian to create an interactive article to raise awareness of seafood sustainability issues and progress, highlight key FishWise business partners as part of the larger sustainable seafood movement, and encourage consumers to choose seafood with a better understanding of sustainability. The article shines a spotlight on Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice labeling program as a model for promoting customer education and awareness of sustainable seafood at the seafood counter.

From the article: “One way that Hy-Vee ensures supplier accountability is by performing traceability audits on high-risk seafood products – tracking shipments from Hy-Vee stores back through the supply chain to the source, like a vessel or a farm, with FishWise’s help.”

Read the entire interactive Guardian piece featuring Hy-Vee, other retailers, restaurants and suppliers here:
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-seafood/ng-interactive/2016/mar/29/fish-supermarkets-albertsons-suppliers-tuna-fishwise-educate

Hy-Vee’s takeaways from the Seafood Expo North America conference

The 2016 Seafood Expo North America was held March 6-8. Hy-Vee seafood experts made the trip to Boston to experience the second-largest seafood industry trade show in the world.

The Hy-Vee and PDI teams had productive meetings with many of Hy-Vee’s current and potential new seafood suppliers, gathering information and establishing relationships for the future.

There were thousands of suppliers available for conversation, which was an excellent opportunity for Hy-Vee to make connections. The conference featured more than 20 educational sessions presented by top seafood industry experts, covering the most important and timely issues relevant to today’s seafood business environment.

One of the most notable breakout sessions was titled, “New Tools for Seafood Businesses to Understand Human Rights Risk and Improve Social Compliance.” Moderated by FishWise, Hy-Vee’s nonprofit partner in sustainable seafood, the session addressed human rights and labor violations – globally and domestically – and the challenges the seafood industry faces. Human trafficking and forced labor in seafood production are increasingly reported despite the development of ethical standards, audits and certifications. Hy-Vee and other attendees heard from a diverse panel of industry and human rights experts working to address social issues in the seafood sector.

The Hy-Vee seafood team enjoyed the time in Boston and had the opportunity to thank our seafood suppliers – in person – for their help with reaching our Responsible Choice commitment. Our team looks forward to working with the new vendors we met and offering new information and potentially new products to our customers.

To find out more about the show, visit the Seafood Expo website: http://www.seafoodexpo.com/north-america/conference

Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood is 100% responsibly sourced

In 2011, Hy-Vee ambitiously committed to sourcing our fresh and frozen seafood from environmentally responsible sources and to improving the traceability of our seafood by the end of 2015. In keeping with our sustainability mission to promote the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment, we recognized our responsibility to work with others to improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture.

To better achieve this goal, we partnered with FishWise, an environmental nonprofit that promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems and the people that depend on them through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

We are proud to announce that as of December 2015, 100% of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced. This is a 38% increase from when we publicly announced the responsible sourcing commitment in January 2014.

“When we hold ourselves accountable, we force ourselves to be great,” said Nate Stewart, former vice president of perishables and current senior vice president of Hy-Vee’s northern region. “Our customers are smart, and we have to earn their trust every day. We owe it to them to uphold our standards and provide them with what they deserve, which is safe and sustainable seafood.”

Hy-Vee has transitioned 4.9 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources since the partnership with FishWise began in 2011. Here are some of the important sourcing transitions we have made over the past five years:

  • Salmon: All of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label farmed salmon is responsibly sourced and is Seafood Watch Green- or Yellow-rated. We also offer Green-rated wild Alaskan salmon.
  • Shrimp: By engaging in certification strengthening and encouraging shrimp farmers to improve, we were able to source 100% of our fresh and private label frozen farmed shrimp from responsible sources.
  • King Crab: In 2012, Hy-Vee transitioned sourcing to 100% Alaskan king crab and started the highly successful annual Alaskan king crab leg promotion.
  • Yellowfin Tuna: Hy-Vee’s transition to handline fisheries and MSC-certified fisheries for imported yellowfin tuna resulted in 100% responsibly sourcing of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label tuna.

Being an industry leader in sustainable seafood means extending our work beyond our direct procurement and engaging with other major retailers, environmental and social NGOs and industry to address the issue of traceability and illegal fishing in global seafood supply chains. In support of legal and traceable seafood in the United States, we publicly supported the passage of federal legislation that addresses illegal fishing and cracks down on human trafficking. Following the FDA’s recent approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon, we reaffirmed our stance against GE seafood and promised our customers that GE seafood has no place in our stores. Hy-Vee will continue to strive to deliver high quality, responsibly sourced seafood to our customers. We will continue to participate in the leading conversations that are helping to drive improvements industry-wide. When you purchase Hy-Vee seafood, you are supporting best practices that will help to ensure a healthy supply of seafood for generations to come.

Seafood Waste: In Numbers

It’s a hard number to stomach, but nearly half of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year. Most of the waste stems from consumers, while additional waste is due to bycatch – catching unintended species of fish, turtles and other creatures and discarding them. A smaller percentage is lost in distribution and retail operations.

These findings come from new research by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), published in the November issue of Global Environmental Change.

“Food waste in general is a source of concern at Hy-Vee,” said Pat Hensley, senior vice president of governmental affairs. “We’re continuously working to combat the issue. Our focus is on working with our suppliers and employees to match supply and demand and to identify other methods of reducing shrink. Given the value of seafood, both economically and a source of healthy protein, anything we can do to reduce waste is time well invested.”

Hy-Vee is not alone in its concerns about the sustainability of the world’s seafood resources. In the U.S. and around the world, people are being advised to eat more seafood, but overfishing, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of fish for other purposes besides human consumption threaten the global seafood supply.

The Johns Hopkins study analyzed the seafood waste issue by focusing on the amount of seafood lost annually at each stage of the food supply chain and at the consumer level. It found that the amount wasted each year is roughly 2.3 billion pounds. Of that waste, the study found that 330 million pounds are lost in distribution and retail, 573 million pounds are lost when commercial fishers catch the wrong species of fish and then discard it (bycatch) and a staggering 1.3 billion pounds are lost at the consumer level.

For more information, you can read details of the study here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015300340 and here http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/nearly-half-of-u-s-seafood-supply-is-wasted.html

Hy-Vee Continues To Support Its Ross Sea Pledge Despite Protection Plan Setbacks

In late October at its annual meeting, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources failed again — for the fifth time — to pass a plan to protect key areas in the Ross Sea and in East Antarctica. CCAMLR is a regional fisheries management organization in the Antarctic Ocean comprised of representatives from 25 different countries. In order for conservation measures like protection for the Ross Sea to pass, all 25 countries are required to reach a final consensus.

The Ross Sea is one of the last remaining sections of ocean that has not been harmed by overfishing, pollution or invasive species. The proposed measure would have provided long-term protection of many species, including penguins, seals, and whales and their critical habitats. In addition, the protected areas would act as a living laboratory for scientists to conduct research in this near-pristine ecosystem.

The good news is that China issued a statement of support for a revised Ross Sea Proposal, marking the first time China has not actively blocked the plan. Russia also issued a statement saying it is committed to an inter-sessional discussion of the proposal.

According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation news article, U.S. State Department delegate Evan Bloom said despite the setback, the joint revised proposal from the United States and New Zealand made progress by getting China on board for the first time with only Russia remaining opposed. Bloom hopes to work with Russia and other countries to try to “finish this off next year,” he said.

Hy-Vee continues to support the creation of a marine protected area in the Ross Sea, and will continue to refuse purchasing Chilean sea bass sourced there. Hy-Vee stands true to its commitment to the Ross Sea. By signing the Ross Sea Pledge, Hy-Vee has given its word that it won’t be part of that developing problem and is, in fact, part of the solution. Hy-Vee supports creation of a Marine Protected Area to protect the area against commercial fishing and pollution. This initiative is broadly supported by governments, scientists, non-governmental organizations and the fishing industry.

By taking a hands-off approach to that species from the Southern Ocean, Hy-Vee joins others in working to reduce the level of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Southern Ocean.

October is National Seafood Month

October is National Seafood Month, and it’s a great time to celebrate ocean-friendly seafood while focusing on some of the key issues behind responsible seafood. It’s also an opportunity to illustrate U.S. fisheries’ successes and challenges as we turn the corner on ending overfishing and begin to rebuild fish stocks.

Hy-Vee offers customers smart seafood choices from environmentally responsible fisheries, allowing customers the health benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood.

In the U.S., roughly half of the seafood we eat is farmed, but aquaculture isn’t well understood by the vast majority of consumers. That’s unfortunate, because even if the oceans were being fished sustainably, we can’t meet the current seafood demand. Responsible aquaculture is the only way to do it. Next time you’re shopping at Hy-Vee, consider one of the Responsible Choice farmed seafood items, the majority of which are rated as a Green ‘Best Choice’ or Yellow ‘Good Alternative’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Responsible Choice LabelSeafood products bearing the “Responsible Choice” symbol meet Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy and are caught or farmed in a responsible manner. Specifically, these options are rated as either Green “Best Choice” or Yellow “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, or are certified to an environmental standard benchmarked to at least these ratings. Hy-Vee features more than 100 items bearing the label. Look for this symbol to ensure you’re making a responsible choice when purchasing seafood.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative is a commitment to protecting the environment.

We encourage you to do your own research as well. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website to learn more about the impact fishing and aquaculture have on the environment.

Hy-Vee-backed bill to combat illegal fishing passes U.S. House

Legislation designed to crack down on illegal fishing that threatens seafood sustainability in some U.S. waters has cleared an important hurdle but faces another before becoming law.

Hy-Vee is among a contingent of retailers, environmental groups and industry leaders supporting House File 774: the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015.

The measure passed on a voice vote July 27 and now heads for consideration in the United States Senate.

The bipartisan legislation is designed to:

  • Strengthen enforcement by building domestic capacity for monitoring and identifying illegal fishing.
  • Create stiffer penalties for vessels caught illegally fishing in U.S. waters
  • Implement legislation needed for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Port States Measures Agreement, an international treaty to close ports to foreign vessels engaged in illegal fishing and help prevent illicitly caught seafood from entering legitimate seafood markets. Fourteen of a required 25 countries must ratify the agreement, which the United States Senate approved in April 2014.

To learn more about ways to address illegal fishing, visit FishWise’s Traceability & IUU Fishing Resources.