Shoppers walking the perimeter of some Hy-Vee stores will come across well-stocked seafood departments before they reach the meat counter.
“We are far ahead of anyone else in the Midwest on supply of fresh seafood,” said Jay Marshall, executive vice president, co-chief operating officer and president of Hy-Vee’s subsidiaries and commissaries.
So far ahead, in fact, that Greenpeace named Hy-Vee the #2 retailer out of the 22 largest supermarket chains in the U.S. for sustainability efforts, including leading in the “initiatives and transparency” categories.
In 2017, Hy-Vee became the first Midwest retailer to source 100 percent of its fresh and frozen seafood from environmentally responsible sources. Its seafood procurement policy requires that seafood be caught or farmed in a responsible manner. Shoppers find the “Responsible Choice” symbol on products that meet that standard. Seafood sources that meet the standards maintain or increase production in the long term without jeopardizing the structure or function of affected ecosystems.
The grocer developed its policy in partnership with FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health of the ocean ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
Hy-Vee and FishWise collect information about where seafood comes from at least once a year. FishWise reviews the data and any certification claims to verify that seafood products comply with its procurement policy. The policy is in place for items in the frozen case, sushi bars and even canned tuna in the grocery aisle.