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