Hy-Vee Moves to Sustainable Seafood

hy-veeThe West Des Moines-based grocery chain Hy-Vee’s efforts to promote sustainable seafood has earned the retailer high marks in a Greenpeace ranking of U.S. supermarkets trying to protect oceans and seafood industry workers. The retailer joins Whole Foods, Wegmans and Safeway to round out the top four on the list.

Costco, which came in 15th, had the worst rating of all the area stores represented.

Hy-Vee is working to make sure its entire selection private brand fresh and frozen fish is harvested or raised with minimal damage to the environment or sea life. All of the fish it sells comes from the wild or fish farms. Hy-Vee has partnered with a Fishwise, a sustainable seafood consulting organization, to navigate the waters of sustainability.

Environmental group Greenpeace’s 2015 Carting Away the Oceans report evaluated and ranked grocer’s efforts in seafood sustainability and protecting industry workers.

The retailer is working on converting all of its seafood offerings to comply with the sustainability rules, including canned fish and processed products such as fish sticks, he said. There are some private brand Hy-Vee canned fish products that meet the criteria and carry the Responsible Choice logo, .

Greenpeace ranked these grocery stores in order of their sustainability efforts. Companies are ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the worst.

Rank Retailer Score
#1 Whole Foods 7.46
#2 Wegmans 7.29
#3 Hy-Vee 7.21
#4 Safeway 7.18
#5 Target 6.88
#6 ALDI 6.65
#7 Trader Joe’s 6.45
#8 Ahold 6.35
#9 Delhaize 6.05
#10 Meijer 5.98
#11 Giant Eagle 5.66
#12 Walmart 5.47
#13 H-E-B 5.43
#14 Price Chopper 5.36
#15 Costco 5.34
#16 SUPERVALU 5.11
#17 Wakefern 5.09
#18 Kroger 4.53
#19 Albertsons 4.38
#20 WinCo 4.32
#21 Southeastern Grocers 3.26
#22 Roundy’s 2.69
#23 Publix 2.61
#24 A&P 1.68
#25 Save Mart 1.44


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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.