Hannaford, the first US retailer to have their seafood products reviewed. (Photo: Hannaford)
Sustainable seafood policy sweeps across Hannaford Supermarkets
Friday, May 25, 2012, 04:10 (GMT + 9)
Hannaford Supermarkets has announced a new "sweeping sustainable seafood policy" and noted that all 2,500 seafood products available at its 181 supermarkets in the Northeastern US are now documented as sustainably harvested.
This applies to all seafood in the stores -- all the supermarkets of Delhaize America, such as Hannaford, Sweetbay, Food Lion and Bottom Dollar Food -- including fresh, frozen and packaged fish and shellfish.
George Parmenter, a Corporate Responsibility manager for Delhaize America, said Hannaford now knows where all of its seafood comes from, either by the location of the fishery or the fish farm, MPBN News reports.
"We're really excited to say that Hannaford is the first major US retailer to be able to state that we have reviewed and documented all of the seafood products in our store as sustainably harvested," he stated.
The sustainable seafood sourcing programme was developed with extensive help from the nonprofit Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI).
The fisheries, which could also be certified under sustainable certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), must exhibit a detailed management plan with the following components:
- Establishing plans to rebuild stock sizes within a specific timeframe if they are below target levels;
- Showing sufficient data to determine appropriate harvest levels or practices;
- Executing monitoring and compliance to ensure acceptable harvest levels are maintained;
- Maintaining enforcement policies to ensure harvesters follow regulations, and to prevent illegal practices and unreported harvest.
For farm-raised seafood, suppliers must be certified by the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) programme of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).
These requirements have led to the removal of some 50 imported products from Hannaford's stores.
"There's some shrimp from the Far East that we no longer carry, that's in cans, there are some species like red snapper and mahi that haven't been removed completely but certain fisheries we've had to remove because they aren't managed in a way that we feel comfortable," said Paramenter.
The company has also built rewards into the system for seafood businesses which implement sustainable harvesting practices, such minimising bycatch.
Delhaize’s four-year-old partnership with GMRI ensures that the policy is comprehensive and science-based. For products sourced from the Gulf of Maine, GMRI works closely with fishers to help them meet the policy requirements, the company said.
Hannaford's new seafood policy will soon be adopted by all 1,400 US stores owned by Delhaize.
By Natalia Real