News Feature | January 21, 2014

Hy-Vee Will Sell Sustainably Sourced Seafood, Fish

Source: Retail Solutions Online

By Kara Murphy, contributing writer, Integrated Solutions For Retailers

Hy-Vee Store

Grocer is the latest to team with an ocean conservation organization to make this promise

Hy-Vee is the latest grocer to commit to selling sustainably sourced fresh and frozen seafood and fish to its customers. Sustainable sourcing is defined as fishing that assures seafood will be plentiful for future generations and does no harm to other animals. The employee-owned company worked with FishWise, a non-profit organization focused on supporting sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices, to add a responsible-sourcing commitment to its Seafood Procurement Policy. The new wording commits Hy-Vee to sell seafood that is rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, is certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings, or is sourced from credible, time-bound improvement processes. Hy-Vee plans to meet this goal by the end of 2015.

The chain, which has 235 stores in eight states, will keep its customers up-to-date with its efforts through multiple channels: in-store information, its company websites, and in its quarterly magazine. It will also mark seafood that meets the new procurement policy with a “Responsible Choice” label.

Other large chain grocers have also teamed with ocean conservation organizations to commit to providing sustainable seafood to customers. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway have all promised to provide sustainable seafood in their stores.

A Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll study released in February 2013 reveals consumers’ beliefs about sustainable sourcing of seafood and fish:

  • 53 percent of respondents said it was either important or very important that the seafood they purchased was sustainably caught.
  • 78 percent of respondents said sustainable fishing was either very important or important.  
  • 52 percent of respondents believe wild caught fish and seafood has more health benefits than other types of seafood.
  • 51 percent said they would not be willing to pay extra for sustainably caught fish and seafood, while 22 percent said they would be willing to pay 10 percent to 20 percent more.

Another step: going green with vendor compliance

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