NOAA Fisheries’ Seafood Inspection Program Makes Sure Your Seafood Is Safe, Healthy, and Wholesome

The United States is the largest importer and fifth largest exporter of seafood. In fact, we estimate that at least 85 percent of the seafood we consume is imported. So, it’s essential to ensure the quality of seafood products that are brought in and shipped out of the country.

That’s where the National  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Seafood Inspection Program comes in.

NOAA inspectors evaluate the quality of seafood and fishery products. They make sure they’re safe and wholesome, and that the weight and species on the label are accurate.

Note: The footage used in this video was obtained pre-COVID. NOAA is still conducting inspections, implementing applicable COVID guidance for on-site activities during the pandemic to ensure the safety of inspectors and consumers.

Watch this video to learn how the NOAA Fisheries Seafood Inspection Program makes sure that the consumer and the industry has confidence in the seafood market as a whole.

Hy-Vee Celebrates Responsible Seafood Program Achievements

Hy-Vee has completed its seafood sourcing due diligence plan two years ahead of schedule, concluding another successful year for its Responsible Seafood Program.

In 2017, Hy-Vee and FishWise created a 5-year due diligence plan to increase visibility into its seafood supply chains and reduce risks related to illegal and unethical fishing practices. The plan included specific steps to put Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy into action. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has been working to build its best-in-class seafood program with increasing expectations and efforts for transparent, socially responsible seafood supply chains.

“Hy-Vee recognizes that responsible seafood is about more than environmental sustainability,” said Jason Pride, vice president of meat and seafood for Hy-Vee. “Transparent supply chains are essential for ensuring that seafood is harvested sustainably, legally and under fair labor conditions. Global seafood supply chains are complex and don’t necessarily provide adequate transparency. This is why Hy-Vee takes a proactive approach to confronting the uncertainty about the journey our seafood takes from the fishing boat to the dinner table.”

For the fourth year in a row, all fresh and frozen seafood as well as seafood used in Hy-Vee’s Nori sushi bars meet its policy for environmental sustainability. Hy-Vee’s private label shelf-stable tuna offerings meet the policy for the third year in a row. Continued compliance is directly attributed to regular data collection, strong relationships with seafood suppliers, and the seafood product pre-screening developed with its sustainable seafood partner, FishWise.

Hy-Vee will continue its efforts in 2021 with the help of FishWise, creating an extensive new due diligence plan to continue its dedication to the Responsible Seafood Program.

 

2020_Hy-Vee_DueDiligence_Graphic

Together We Make A Difference

This October it’s Fair Trade Month and National Seafood Month, so we at Fair Trade USA are celebrating the impact each shopper makes by purchasing Fair Trade Certified goods like tuna, scallops, salmon and shrimp at Hy-Vee stores.

We at Fair Trade USA are a part of a global movement based on the simple idea that the products bought and sold every day are connected to the livelihoods of others. When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal, you can be sure it was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. Choosing to purchase Fair Trade Certified goods is choosing to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.

In 2014, Fair Trade USA launched it’s Seafood program and since then we’ve seen sustainability in global seafood production expand to include not only environmental protections but social and economic ones as well. The first year of the program saw partners deliver a total of $5,000 in funds back to their first beneficiary fishers. By 2018, Fair Trade USA partners had imported nearly 9 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified seafood, delivering a total of nearly $500,000 back to fishing communities around the world.

In these difficult times, we see fishers as the essential workers that they are. These unsung heroes have taken a major demand and price hit during the pandemic. Still, they’re showing great determination and perseverance to keep supplying us with a sustainable source of nutrition. Raising their standards through the purchase of #FairTradeCertified goods means they can continue to support themselves and their families during these trying times.

That’s why this year we’re going the extra mile to encourage shoppers to sign a pledge to seek the seal and share why fair trade matters to them on social media with #ShareYourFair. Pledge here https://p2a.co/ShareYourFair

Individually we make a choice. Together we make a difference. Happy Fair Trade and National Seafood Month!

 

Yellow fin tuna are caught off the Maldives, Indian ocean, Nov, 2016.

October Is Fair Trade Month

October is Fair Trade Month, as well as National Seafood Month! You can celebrate both by looking for Fair Trade CertifiedTM tuna, shrimp, scallops, and salmon at Hy-Vee stores. Join us in making a difference by choosing Fair Trade Certified seafood products.

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.

We at Fair Trade USA® believe that everyone wants to do what’s right – for their families, fellow global citizens, and the planet. That’s why we’re committed to making the right choices the most obvious ones. Based on the simple idea that the products bought and sold every day are connected to the livelihoods of others, fair trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.

What does fair trade certification mean?

When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal, you can be sure it was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. We work closely on the ground with producers and certify transactions between companies and their suppliers to ensure that the people making Fair Trade Certified goods work in safe conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods, and earn additional money to empower and uplift their communities.

 

Hy-Vee Features First Fair Trade Aquaculture Shrimp

Hy-Vee is celebrating Fair Trade Month in October by featuring the first shrimp aquaculture in the world to be Fair Trade-certified.

Ultra Natural shrimp a healthy, flavorful product now exclusively available at Hy-Vee. It’s all-natural, free of any additives and vacuum-sealed onsite to preserve freshness. There is 100% DNA traceability including the hatchery, nursery ponds, grow out ponds, feed, harvest dates, processing plant, cold storage and retail outlets.

Check out these flavorful, Responsible Choice and Fair Trade varieties in your Hy-Vee Seafood case:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To achieve Fair Trade certification, Ultra Natural Shrimp had to prove and continue to adhere to the practices mentioned above.

Like Hy-Vee, Ultra Natural Shrimp is committed to its employees and its communities.  Ultra Natural organized ADI, an employee association providing employees with a number of key social and financial benefits through profit sharing.

Fundesur, created in 2014, manages funds set aside by the shrimp industry, spearheading programs designed to improve the lives of  Honduran families. Learn more about Fundesur in the video below:

 

Stay Strong With Seafood And Family Meals

Magic happens during family mealtime when children and parents gather around the table and engage each other in conversation. Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and weight, and less risky behavior.

Making and eating dinner at home is one way families can stay connected and share their daily experiences while enjoying a nutritious meal. Getting kids involved in cooking makes them feel proud of helping and more likely to eat wholesome foods.

Fish and shellfish are good options for busy nights. Most seafood can be cooked in 15 minutes or less. Additionally, fish and shellfish are sources of lean protein, low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins and minerals, most notably the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend at least two servings of seafood per week to support heart and brain health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Seafood Cooking Tips for Busy Families

• Cook it from frozen: the
Alaska Seafood Marketing
Institute offers whole series
of tasty recipes called Cook It
Frozen!®. Most frozen seafood
can be prepared in as little as
15 minutes. You can also stock
up on frozen seafood when
it’s on sale.

• Stock up on canned seafood:
When you’re at the grocery
store, grab canned, tin or
pouch seafood (especially
when on sale). Canned seafood
often offers a more reasonably
priced alternative and can be
tossed into salads or pastas for
an easy meal.

• Cook it once, eat it twice: Try
doubling recipes to get ahead
on cooking and have a dinner
or lunch ready for later in the
week. Recipes that freeze well,
such as stews and casseroles,
are great to double. Also,
consider cooking an extra
piece of fish to use on a salad
or in a sandwich the next day.

• Grab-and-go options: the
easiest cooking tip of all is to
grab pre-prepped seafood
from your local grocery store
to just bring home and heat!

Doing Our Due Diligence To Support Transparent Seafood Supply Chains

Hy-Vee prides itself in providing customers with healthy, responsibly sourced seafood. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has worked tirelessly to build a best-in-class Responsible Choice Seafood Program and continues to raise the bar with its expectations for transparent, socially responsible seafood supply chains.

Transparent supply chains are essential for ensuring that seafood is harvested sustainably, legally, and under fair labor conditions. But global seafood supply chains are complex and don’t always have adequate transparency. Hy-Vee takes a proactive approach to confronting the uncertainty about the journey a fillet of fish takes from a fishing boat to the dinner table.

With the help of our sustainable seafood consultant, FishWise, Hy-Vee created a due diligence plan for improving social responsibility and traceability, and to counter illegal fishing within Hy-Vee’s seafood supply chains. The due diligence plan, now in its third year, includes seven iterative steps aimed at increasing visibility into seafood supply chains and reducing risks related to illegal and unethical fishing practices.

Each year Hy-Vee tackles new activities within its due diligence plan. Over the past twelve months, Hy-Vee traced a shrimp product and a tuna product back to where they were harvested, took a deep dive into private label suppliers’ social responsibility policies and practices, advocated for better tuna fisheries management, and more.

Through its due diligence practices, Hy-Vee is contributing to more transparent seafood supply chains, greater accountability, and a healthier ocean for fish and people. Look for the Responsible Choice logo on seafood products and feel good about what you’re feeding your family.

HyVee_DueDiligence_Graphic_2020

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.