Hy-Vee Approaches 100% Responsible Seafood Sourcing

Hy-vee seafoodHy-Vee Approaches 100% Responsible Seafood Sourcing A year after West Des Moines-based grocer Hy-Vee added a Responsible Sourcing Commitment to its Seafood Procurement Policy, 79% of its fresh and private brand frozen seafood meets the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable or in a time-bound improvement process. This is a 17% increase from when the retailer made the pledge in January 2014. The Responsible Sourcing Commitment states that by the end of this year, Hy-Vee will sell 100% responsibly sourced fresh and private label frozen seafood that is rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; certified to an environmental standard equivalent to those ratings; or sourced from credible, time-bound improvement processes. The policy and commitment were developed in partnership with FishWise, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices. “It is our mission to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment,” said Nate Stewart, vice president of perishables at Hy-Vee. “We are dedicated to delivering a diverse and high-quality seafood selection to our Midwest customers. To accomplish this, we believe we must also play an integral role in keeping our oceans healthy.” Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy also includes the Responsible Choice labeling initiative, which informs customers about the company’s efforts to provide seafood from environmentally responsible sources. The policy was created to help Hy-Vee sell seafood that is not only safe for consumption, but that is also harvested or raised in a manner providing for its long-term viability while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life. As part of this mission, Hy-Vee was the first retail chain in the United States to hire its own U.S. Department of Commerce lot inspector to ensure the quality, safety and integrity of the fresh seafood it buys. The USDC inspector is stationed on-site at the Perishable Distributors of Iowa distribution facility in Ankeny, Iowa, where he routinely checks incoming shipments of fresh seafood and rejects those that do not meet Hy-Vee’s standards.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.