One-Year Anniversary of Responsible Choice Labeling

There is a growing concern among consumers about the safety, nutritional value and environmental friendliness of the food they purchase.

Responsible Choice Label In order to address those concerns at our Hy-Vee seafood counters, one year ago we began labeling seafood products that meet our strict environmental standards with the blue and green Responsible Choice label. The labeling program was designed and implemented in order to spread awareness of the importance of responsibly sourced seafood and to inform our customers about our leadership in protecting marine resources and ensuring future seafood supplies.

The Responsible Choice label identifies seafood products that come from well-managed sources that minimize the environmental impacts of harvesting or farming. Specifically, these products are rated either Green (Best Choice) or Yellow (Good Alternative) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, or are certified to an equivalent environmental standard [for example, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification].

Throughout the past year, we have been steadily adding labels to seafood items that have been transitioned to responsible sources, increasing the number of items our customers can feel good about purchasing. For example, you may have noticed that more and more shrimp items display the Responsible Choice label. That’s because we have been hard at work behind the scenes collaborating with our nonprofit partner FishWise to encourage more of our farmed shrimp suppliers to become certified to the rigorous Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices standard.

As a large retailer, Hy-Vee has an important role to play in marine conservation. Through our buying power and marketing of responsibly sourced seafood, we are creating positive change. You can read more details about the Responsible Choice label and our conservation initiatives on our recently updated Responsible Choice Seafood website.

Author: Kenan Judge

I’m Kenan Judge, and I am the group vice president of meat and seafood operations for Hy-Vee, and have been in the industry for 37 years. I’m also a member of the Sustainable Seafood Committee for the Food Marketing Institute. Part of my job at Hy-Vee is to respond to increased customer demand for sustainably caught seafood, but also help move the industry forward in this area.