Social Responsibility Deep Dive Survey Project

Have you ever caught yourself eating a perfectly seared tuna steak or a handful of pineapple-coconut shrimp skewers and wondered about the fishermen who caught them or the farmer who raised them? If so, you’re not alone.

At Hy-Vee, we believe our success is grounded in the principle of always doing the right thing when it comes to our customers, our employees, our suppliers and our communities. That’s why we’re committed to having a comprehensive seafood program focused on both environmental sustainability and human and labor rights – exemplified through our Seafood Procurement Policy. We also believe that strong, trusted supplier partnerships built on a model of continuous improvement and collaboration are key to sustained, long-term success.

A New Project:

Together with our sustainable seafood consultant, FishWise, Hy-Vee took a detailed look at the human and labor rights protections that three of our most valued private label seafood suppliers —Mazzetta Company, LLC., Eastern Fish Co., and Beaver Street Fisheries — have embedded into their operations. Our goals were to 1) reinforce Hy-Vee’s commitment to worker protections and best practices, 2) collect data on current policies, practices, and/or procedures in place at each company, and 3) identify future actions that could be taken to support social responsibility improvements.

When describing why Hy-Vee invested in this project, Jason Pride, vice president of meat and seafood operations, said:

“It’s important to have partnerships that are built on trust, transparency, reliability, and data. Our suppliers know we’re committed to meeting customer demand for sustainably and responsibly caught seafood. We are always looking for opportunities to support continuous improvement efforts.” 

The Process:

The 25 question survey was developed in consultation with publicly available guidance and best practices from human and labor rights organizations from around the world (to learn more visit RISE – the Roadmap for Improving Seafood Ethics). Each supplier completed the survey on time, and the results were analyzed by FishWise and shared directly with the team at Hy-Vee. We then held hour-long phone calls with each supplier to go over the results and highlight their strengths, opportunities for improvement, and some specific resources and tools to support them in those efforts.

We were encouraged by our supplier’s responses and by the policies and practices they already have in place to protect workers, such as strong human and labor rights codes of conduct, regular human rights risk assessments and social audits, and worker grievance mechanisms.

Moving forward we will continue to support these suppliers in their efforts and will look for opportunities to conduct similar projects in the future. Hy-Vee’s aim is to ensure our supplier partners share our commitment to do the right thing and that our customers can be proud of the seafood they purchase. We believe that the best way to do that is to invest in moving the industry forward – together.

Dish On Fish: Smoked Trout Dip

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish On Fish:

Need a nosh to get you through to dinnertime? Or an impressive snack to show off during the Zoom Happy Hour? You’ll flip for our new Smoked Trout Dip, a simple, savory, and satisfying treat that is also good for you. Easy to make, easy to store and easy to eat – think of this trout dip recipe as snack time made simple!

Seafood dips go perfectly with raw veggies, crackers, or pita. We’ve tested this theory with our other original dips – the salmon dipshrimp dip, and crab dip. All tasty ways to get your seafood servings in, especially if you’re looking for some healthy snacks.

So, let’s talk about smoked trout for a moment because it might not be on your standard grocery list. You may be surprised to discover that trout is in the salmon family, can be freshwater or saltwater, and has been cured. The result is a buttery, smoky, flaky product. It will come in a tin, pouch, or vacuum packed, making it another pantry- or fridge-stable seafood product that’s great to have on hand to top a salad or use in a dip.

A serving of smoked trout (about 4 oz.) provides a healthy dose of protein and vitamin D in a 100-calorie package. Plus, it is a tasty way to get part of your It’s a great way to boost protein at snack time. And, it’s a tasty way to get part of your 2-3 weekly servings of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans seafood recommendation.

One last thought – if there is any schmear leftover – treat yourself to Smoked Trout Dip on a bagel/toast tomorrow morning. Game changer! Enjoy!

 

Wild Alaska Salmon Season

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice wild salmon, caught from Alaska’s Copper River, is arriving in Hy-Vee stores after the fresh wild season opened on May 14 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consumer demand for this product has grown each year with foodies who shop at Hy-Vee eagerly waiting for the first salmon to arrive in their local store. The pure, pristine environment of the Copper River helps create an omega-3 powerhouse. Copper River salmon begin their journey 300 miles downstream at the mouth of the Copper River, then make the long trek up through fast currents and unspoiled glacial-fed waters to reach their spawning grounds. This trek requires the salmon to store extra energy in the form of fat. The one-of-a-kind flavor and texture generated from this fat makes any seafood lover’s mouth water. It is truly some of the highest prized salmon in the world.

The Copper River takes its name from the rich copper deposits found along its banks. This massive body of water has 13 major tributaries, is 1 mile wide and runs at 7 miles per hour. The Copper River is the 10th-largest river in the United States, and is home to some of the finest, well-managed salmon stocks in the world. Alaska’s successful management practices are considered a model of sustainability for the rest of the world. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game monitors fish populations at several points along the Copper River and counts salmon heading up the river to ensure that an adequate number migrate to spawning grounds to reproduce each year. Policies like this have helped Alaska maintain one of the world’s most abundant sources of delicious wild seafood for generations to come. This is why we proudly place our Hy-Vee Responsible Choice label on wild Alaska salmon.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Shrimp: Supporting Sustainable, Traceable Seafood

The average American ate almost 5 pounds of shrimp in 2018 alone. That’s almost twice as much as our next favorite seafood—salmon. It’s no wonder the U.S. created National Shrimp Day to celebrate one of our all-time favorite seafoods!

Unfortunately, imported shrimp has been linked to a number of harmful environmental and socially irresponsible farming practices that can happen when rules and regulations aren’t enforced well. The good news is Hy-Vee works behind the scenes with sustainable seafood consultant (FishWise) and our seafood suppliers to understand these risks first-hand and deter bad practices before they reach Hy-Vee’s supply chains.

One way to do this is through strict environmental sourcing criteria that ensures Hy-Vee only purchases shrimp (both wild and farmed) from reputable suppliers. Hy-Vee and FishWise work closely with seafood suppliers each year to collect data about where our seafood was caught or farmed to determine what can be labeled ‘Responsible Choice’. But the work doesn’t stop there!

Verification in Action

Hy-Vee is committed to procuring shrimp from legal, traceable sources which is why we do our due diligence to ensure our Responsible Choice shrimp is both sustainable and traceable from the farm to your plate.

Earlier this year, Hy-Vee partnered with Beaver Street Fisheries to dive deeper into a shrimp supply chain. By working collaboratively with seafood suppliers Hy-Vee is able to verify where, how, and by who shrimp was harvested, processed, and delivered.

Though the U.S. government has its own regulatory measures in place for deterring illegally imported products, such as the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), by exercising our own due diligence, Hy-Vee ensures our suppliers are set up to meet these regulations and reduce risk of fraudulent activities along the supply chain.

What is SIMP?

The Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) is aimed at preventing illegally harvested products, including shrimp, from entering the U.S. SIMP requires importing companies to maintain traceability documentation from their supply chains beginning at the point of harvest. Companies with effective traceability and/or who regularly communicate with their supply chains are more likely to comply with SIMP.

Beaver Street Fisheries has industry leading sustainability practices and partnerships in place, which sets them up for success when it comes to meeting traceability requirements and expectations. Soon after kicking off our project, Beaver Street Fisheries was able to share complete traceability records documenting the journey one of Hy-Vee’s shrimp products took from a farm in India all the way to our distribution warehouse in Iowa. The paperwork Beaver Street Fisheries shared included critical information about when the shrimp was harvested, shrimp farm certifications, how and where the shrimp was processed, and transportation of the product. Every detail aligned with SIMP and Hy-Vee’s best-in-class Seafood Procurement Policy. Beaver Street Fisheries’ willingness to work together with Hy-Vee and FishWise on traceability and sustainability verification, and its ability to provide information efficiently makes Beaver Street Fisheries stand out from the crowd.

“Hy-Vee has always been a great partner to Beaver Street Fisheries, and our BSF team appreciates the opportunity to work with Hy-Vee and FishWise on this project, as we all share a common commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainable seafood. Traceability is the backbone for a controlled supply chain, and with today’s growing list of requirements at each step of the process, our BSF team takes great pride in collaborating with our supply chain partners to embrace these requirements, which support the ever-growing need for responsible seafood.” – Casey Marion, Beaver Street Fisheries

Tips For Little Seafoodies (And Their Caregivers)

HEALTH GOODIES FOR LITTLE SEAFOODIES

When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, the benefits are big. Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and a healthy heart and immune system.

  • Big Yums + Big Brains
    Fish makes your brain bigger, literallyYour brain is nearly 60% fat, and omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s ability to perform.
  • New Faves + Better Grades
    Kids who eat fish at least once per week may do better in school. Seafood’s omega-3s help kids’ brains develop, leading to higher IQs and improved reading and spelling skills. Plus, children who consume more seafood have less anxiety and better focus.
  • Clean Plates + Healthy Eyes
    Nearly half of our eyes’ light-detecting cell structure is made up of omega-3s.
fish

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD IS A WIN-WIN:
HEALTHY FOR YOUR KIDS, HEALTHY FOR THE PLANET.

You have two basic choices for sustainable seafood: wild-caught from well-managed fisheries or raised from farms that adhere to responsible practices. Today, it’s easier than ever to find either option.

  • Buy certified.
    Several certification programs work with fisheries, farms and companies to ensure sustainability.
    Look for logos such as these:
  • Shop at a reputable store.
    100 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and frozen seafood comes from responsible sources.
  • Ask questions.
    Your store can tell you where it gets its seafood and if it was responsibly raised or caught. Just ask your Hy-Vee seafood department for more information.
  • Use the web.
    Consult sites like SeafoodWatch.org and FishWatch.gov to find great sustainable seafood choices.
  • Choose American.
    The U.S. is the global leader in sustainable seafood.

Businesses for Bristol Bay

Hy-Vee understands that some of the biggest threats to the ocean and coastal communities can start on land.

In October 2017, Hy-Vee joined the Businesses for Bristol Bay coalition to advocate for the protection of Bristol Bay, the most pristine and productive wild salmon habitat in the world, from potentially devastating impacts from the proposed Pebble Mine project. If developed, toxic runoff from the Pebble Mine would contaminate nearby Bristol Bay, where Hy-Vee sources much of our wild salmon. An environmental disaster would jeopardize thousands of independent businesses, tens of thousands of jobs, and an economic engine that sustains Alaska’s economy. As part of this effort, Hy-Vee signed on to a letter to President Trump and U.S. EPA Administrator advocating for the protection of Bristol Bay.

 

Little Seafoodies

The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. So how do moms get their kids to eat more of this delicious, nutritious food?

Seafood Nutrition Partnership talked to hundreds of moms and asked top nutrition experts and chefs for their input — all parents with tested-true tips.

The Perfect Shrimp. The Perfect Partner.

When the PDI Seafood Buying Team is sourcing seafood for Hy-Vee, quality comes first. The team demands perfection when looking for a supplier. And that’s what the team found in Paul Piazza and Son and Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice wild shrimp program: the perfect shrimp with the perfect supplier.

Since Paul Piazza began selling fresh seafood from New Orleans’ famous French Market 120 years ago, the fourth-generation family-owned and operated business has been driven by passion and commitment to supplying the country with the freshest, best-tasting and highest quality Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp that the nutrient-rich in-shore waters of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico have to offer.

Paul Piazza and Son is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Premium Gulf of Mexico Domestic Shrimp is its only business. It is one of the largest processors in the domestic industry and has the capacity to offer over 25 million pounds of Gulf Domestic Shrimp from its state-of-the-art USDC plants in Louisiana and Texas.

Renewed Standard of Excellence

Like much of the New Orleans region, Paul Piazza and Son’s business was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Owners and managers looked at the situation as an opportunity to not only rebuild, but also reinvent their company, increase their capabilities and achieve their goal of becoming the source for premium Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp.

Re-energized, they opened a state-of-the-art processing facility in Delcambre, Louisiana, and modernized their New Orleans plant using cutting edge technology. They also expanded their distribution and product mix.

This expansion and innovation has helped Paul Piazza and Son become the shrimp sourcing, processing and national distribution powerhouse that it is today.

Premium Process

Paul Piazza and Son’s vertically integrated shrimp processing business keeps it as close to its products as possible and allows it total quality control — from the moment the shrimp is harvested from the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf until it’s delivered to your Hy-Vee store.

Paul Piazza and Son contracts the Gulf’s top shrimp boat captains to work exclusively with its company. The committed boats then unload their catch of wild-caught white and brown shrimp in the company’s state-of-the-art processing facilities. The product is next sorted and packed to Hy-Vee specifications and then delivered to the PDI warehouse where it is ready to ship to your Hy-Vee store.

Paul Piazza and Son and Hy-Vee/PDI have plans to grow our partnership and look forward to expanding the Responsible Choice wild shrimp program in Hy-Vee stores, making it readily available for Hy-Vee customers’ dinner tables.

Dish On Fish: Perfect Seafood Recipes For Lunches

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish:

We get it. Time is short, deadlines are looming and hunger has officially struck. If you don’t have time for a leisurely lunch during the day—but don’t want a boring brown bag (who does?)—try our easy and delicious seafood lunches that you can prep and pack in minutes.

Seafood for lunch? You bet. Not only is it an easy way to get in one of your 2-3 seafood meals each week, but seafood is loaded with healthy fats like omega-3s and protein. The omega-3s in seafood—DHA, and EPA—are important for many reasons, including boosting brain health and focus. Plus, seafood is a complete protein, to help keep your energy up throughout the day and prevent that post-lunch slump.

These lunches are packed with heart-healthy omega-3s and protein, which will help keep your energy up and prevent that post-lunch slump. In fact, these lunches are so delectable that you’ll be watching the clock all morning.

We are going to share an a-mazing Avocado Tuna Salad plus some other fun variations on seafood lunches.  These lunches are so delectable that you’ll be watching the clock all morning, eagerly awaiting your lunch break. Between the blend of flavors and fish options, you’ll never be bored with your brown bag lunch again. These dishes will also help you reach your goal of two seafood servings a week, to meet seafood recommendations.

Blackened Shrimp

Nothing compliments the taste of fresh shrimp, like mixing flavorful spices and herbs (to give it a real kick). This blackened shrimp is not only a great option for lunch, you’ll also turn to it all year as an easy (multi-day) meal prep option. Blackened shrimp is perfectly incorporated into a variety of different dishes throughout the week—like shrimp tacos! Get the recipe here.

 

Avocado Tuna Salad

No to-go lunch list is complete without tuna salad. However, this twist on the traditional dish is both tasty and creamy, you’ll be wondering how you ever made it any other way. Get the recipe here.

 

 

Easy Egg Crab Muffins

Egg bites have become the latest brunch craze, perhaps thanks to their flavor and the easy-to-eat shape. Unlike the ones you may have seen before, we promise you won’t find these egg crab muffin bites at any corner shop! Get the recipe here.

 

 

 

Dish On Fish: Tips For Cooking With A Cast Iron Skillet

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish:

Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

Pro Tip: Cooking with a cast iron skillet is not only for professional chefs. That’s right, rumors about the difficulties of cooking with cast iron are not true! We actually LOVE cooking seafood in a skillet because it brings out the savory flavor of seafood, while adding some extra nutrients. That’s why we’re sharing six easy cast iron skillet tips with you to make your experience a breeze.

The key to cooking with a cast iron skillet is to do some research and get cooking! Cast iron pans and seafood pair perfectly. In fact, this versatile cooking method makes it super-easy to eat seafood 2-3 times per week.

You’ll be surprised to find how simple it is to incorporate cast iron skillet cooking into your kitchen! If you need a good place to start, we recommend checking out our hearty Smoked Salmon Hash recipe that is simple to make and packed with a flavorful punch.

Below is a list of six essential cooking tips. We encourage you to start simple, but also keep in mind there’s a world of possibilities when cooking in cast iron.

6 Cast Iron Skillet Tips

  1. ‘Tis the seasoning
    When cooking with a cast iron skillet, the first step is to season it. Start by heating the pan. Once hot, add about one tablespoon of oil. After the oil cools, you’re good to get cookin’. This step is essential because cast iron cookware soaks up whatever is heated. Season the pan before cooking to avoid food from becoming a sticky hot mess.
  2. But first, preheat
    Before tossing in your ingredients, preheat your cast iron skillet. However, watch the level of heat! Cast iron skillets will crack if exposed to a lot of heat in a short amount of time. So, start off low and gradually increase heat to avoid going from cold pan to cracked hot pot quickly.
  3. Cookin’ low & slow
    Have you ever heard the saying “cooking low and slow?” Well, whoever said it must’ve been cooking with a cast iron skillet! Keeping the temperature down will ensure all flavor is absorbed without the risk of burning your masterpiece.
  4. Avoid plastic utensils
    Take a look at your favorite cooking utensils… are they made of plastic? If so, they may have to sit this one out. Cast iron skillets can get very hot, very quickly. We recommend opting for a stainless steel, wood or bamboo utensil to best protect your cookware… and your food.
  5. Never clean with soap
    Cleaning a cast iron skillet may seem like a chore and you may be tempted to dose the pan with soap, but think twice. Cast iron skillets should be cleaned immediately after use, while still warm. Just add a little hot water and scrub with a sponge or stiff brush. (Note: Don’’t soak the pan or leave in sink because it could rust.) Avoid using soap or steel wool so you don’t scratch the pan’s surface or remove seasoning. If bits are stuck to the pan, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse salt, like kosher salt, and water.
  6. Always dry and season skillet
    This final tip is often overlooked. Because cast iron is a metal, when it becomes wet it can rust and become ruined. The best way to preserve the lifespan of your cast iron cookware is to ensure it is dried thoroughly after each use and cleaning by wiping with a towel. Then, add a little vegetable or olive oil to the cloth or paper towel and apply a light coat to the inside of the dry skillet. Store in a dry place.

Now that you’re armed with an arsenal of cast iron skillet tips, we hope you’re eager to get in the kitchen and put your new skills to good use! The creative possibilities are endless. Consider adding a cast iron skillet to your Christmas list!