One year ago we were pleased to announce the addition of a Responsible Sourcing Commitment to our comprehensive Seafood Procurement Policy. The policy and commitment were developed in partnership with FishWise, a non-profit organization focused on supporting sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices.
To protect marine resources and ensure future seafood supplies, Hy-Vee committed to sell responsibly sourced fresh and private label frozen seafood that is rated as a Green “Best Choice” or Yellow “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings, or 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 our 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.
Hy-Vee is steadily working toward the goal established in our policy. In January 2014, 62 percent of the fresh and private label frozen seafood offered at Hy-Vee met the commitment. As of January 2015, 79 percent of our fresh and private label frozen seafood now meets the commitment, which is a 17 percent increase in just one year!
We continue to strengthen our traceability and transparency through the Responsible Choice labeling program. Seafood products bearing the Responsible Choice symbol meet Hy-Vee’s policy and are caught or farmed in a responsible manner. Specifically, these options are Green or Yellow rated as described above, or certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings.
As we approach the 2015 year-end deadline, we will focus on increasing the number of Responsible Choice items available to customers, including farmed salmon and farmed shrimp items.
Hy-Vee is leading major retailers through our conservation initiative efforts. You can read more details on our recently updated Responsible Choice Seafood website. We’re working to continue our progress in the coming year. We are dedicated to achieving our 2015 goal, and will continue to be responsible seafood champions in the years ahead.