Hy-Vee Offers 100 Percent Fair Trade Certified Tuna in Seafood Service Cases
March 1, 2017 | News & Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (March 1, 2017) — Today, Hy-Vee, Inc. announced it has successfully transitioned 100 percent of its service case tuna to Fair Trade Certified™ in all 244 of its stores. Hy-Vee guarantees that all tuna on ice at its seafood counters is caught in a way that supports fishing communities and does not harm the oceans or jeopardize tuna populations.
“Hy-Vee works hard to provide the very best in seafood for our customers,” said Brett Bremser, executive vice president of perishables at Hy-Vee. “We put a lot of effort into finding top-quality, fresh seafood and ensuring it is responsibly sourced and available at a fair price.”
Hy-Vee is partnering with Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, in the effort. The Fair Trade Certified seal recognizes best-in-class seafood companies for their commitment to sourcing ethical seafood. As part of Hy-Vee’s partnership with Fair Trade USA, it’s working to build more resilient livelihoods in fishing communities, improved working and living conditions, increased supply and demand for responsibly sourced seafood, and enhanced environmental stewardship and ecosystem protection.
According to Fair Trade USA, Hy-Vee is the only retailer currently putting forth an effort of this magnitude.
Tuna sold in the seafood service case at Hy-Vee stores is caught with hand-held fishing lines, minimizing the odds of accidentally harming other marine life and ensuring the long-term sustainability of tuna and other sea life. While tuna stocks need to be sustained, so do the people who fish for tuna. Many fishermen are financially insecure and vulnerable. Hy-Vee is committed to sourcing only from Fair Trade tuna purveyors for its tuna in the service case.
“The most powerful part of Fair Trade is that it allows shoppers to cast a vote for healthy oceans, worker empowerment and responsible business with every purchase,” said Jenna Larson, senior communications manager at Fair Trade USA.
The news follows Hy-Vee’s announcement of its expanded Seafood Procurement Policy, which now includes shelf-stable tuna. The policy was developed in partnership with FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
“FishWise applauds Hy-Vee's recent advance in Fair Trade Certified tuna,” said Kathleen Mullen-Ley, project director at FishWise. “This milestone is important in assuring responsibly sourced seafood that also promotes the well-being of fishers who rely on healthy fish stocks, and it sets a noteworthy precedent for the industry.”
Fair Trade USA’s seafood program is the first of its kind to address both social and environmental challenges in the seafood sector. Standards for marine resources ensure that fisheries are managed legally and responsibly, preventing further overfishing. At the same time, social and human rights standards prohibit forced labor and empower fishermen with better working conditions, improved terms of trade and additional income to invest in their businesses and communities.
About Hy-Vee, Inc.
Hy-Vee Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 240 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $9.8 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company’s 84,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com.
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers; protects fragile ecosystems; and builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ label signifies that rigorous standards have been met in the production, trade and promotion of Fair Trade products from over 80 countries across the globe. Recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also provides critical capacity-building programs at origin, and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. Visit www.FairTradeUSA.org for more information.
FishWise is a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. Uniquely positioned between the seafood industry and marine conservation organizations, FishWise offers a range of services that create trust between seafood vendors and their customers, enabling businesses to sell more sustainable seafood, more profitably. For more information, please visit www.fishwise.org, and follow FishWise's work on Facebook and Twitter.