Midwestern retail chain Hy-Vee has is partnering with two of its seafood suppliers and FishWise to improve traceability and social responsibility.
The effort is the latest in a series by West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee, its suppliers and NGO-led initiatives to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
One of the suppliers involved in the endeavor, Orca Bay Foods, LLC, sells a variety of seafood products to Hy-Vee including mahi-mahi. Hy-Vee, Orca Bay and FishWise worked together to take an in-depth look at a mahi-mahi product to ensure that both its harvest and journey to Hy-Vee’s shelves were in compliance with Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy.
Both Hy-Vee and Orca Bay recognize that collecting information about where a product comes from is an important part of verifying that a product is legal and sustainable, according to Hy-Vee officials. Another crucial step is ensuring that the companies selling the product are implementing robust company policies to mitigate risks of illegal seafood entering their supply chains.
Orca Bay works toward this goal by preferentially sourcing mahi-mahi from a fishery improvement project (FIP) and supporting the FIP in reaching its goals for improved sustainability and traceability. By collaborating with Hy-Vee and FishWise on this effort, Orca Bay took the extra step toward continuous improvement of its company’s sustainability policies.
“We’re incredibly pleased with Orca Bay’s collaboration on this project and efforts to strengthen the legal fishing practices for this mahi-mahi product,” says Nate Stewart, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president of perishables. “Hy-Vee is dedicated to being a leader in sustainability, and we hope to set an example with this effort that other companies will follow.”