Less than one year after Hy-Vee announced it was expanding its Seafood Procurement Policy to include the shelf-stable tuna category, 100 percent of its private-brand shelf-stable tuna products are now sourced from environmentally preferred fisheries.
“We continue to push forward in our seafood sustainability goals and add categories to our list of responsibly sourced items,” said Brett Bremser, EVP and chief merchandising officer. “Offering Hy-Vee private label shelf-stable tuna to that list is a major accomplishment. These items are value-oriented and offer our customers a seafood option that promotes well-being for them and for our environment.”
In accordance with its Seafood Procurement Policy, Hy-Vee’s private-brand shelf-stable tuna products are sourced from fisheries that are (in order of preference): 1) certified by the Marine Stewardship Council with supply chain traceability (Chain of Custody); and/or 2) Green or Yellow rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; and/or engaged in fishery improvement projects making measurable and time-bound progress. To begin addressing non-environmental risks in its shelf-stable tuna assortment, Hy-Vee recently adopted multi-year due diligence plans to improve product traceability, ensure tuna is from legal and verifiable sources, and promote social responsibility.
Hy-Vee says it also recognizes the importance of supporting initiatives to drive positive change in the global tuna sector. To that end, the retailer recently signed on to a letter to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) calling for the treaty-based international organization to adopt measures to address key issues that are fundamental to sustainable tuna management.
Hy-Vee has long been partnered with FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
“Hy-Vee continues to lead by example,” said Kathleen Mullen-Ley, project director at FishWise. “By transitioning their private-brand shelf-stable tuna products to environmentally responsible sources, they provide proof to the rest of the U.S. grocery retail market that it is possible to start taking meaningful action now.”
Hy-Vee Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 245 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $10 billion annually.