Meijer customers are increasingly interested in knowing that the seafood they buy from us is a healthy option and comes from sustainable sources. That’s why we’re taking important steps to provide the highest sustainability standards for both our farmed and wild caught fish selections.
Since 2012 Meijer has partnered with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA). Its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification helps our farmed seafood suppliers achieve the best possible sustainable aquaculture standards. BAP is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain – farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills. They help assure the production of healthy foods through environmentally and socially responsible means.
Starting in January 2017, we have committed to sourcing only 4 star BAP shrimp – one of our most popular seafood products – and we are working with our suppliers to ensure that all our own brand farmed fish products are 4 star certified by the end of 2017 where this is possible.
“It is really important for retailers to make sure we are getting sustainably raised seafood in a responsible way. Working with GAA gives us confidence that our suppliers and supply chain is clean,” explains Meijer’s seafood buyer David Wier.
Ultimately, providing sustainable seafood for our customers is a process of continuous improvement. We are encouraging all our wild caught seafood suppliers to become certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or a Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative approved certification scheme. We also look to source wild caught seafood from Fishery Improvement Projects – an international initiative that helps fisheries move towards sustainability and MSC certification. One such project we support is a Red Shrimp fishing community in Argentina.
Another important element of seafood sustainability is a commitment to sourcing from responsible local businesses. Since 1998 we’ve partnered with Great Lakes commercial fishing company, La Nassa Foods, and helped it grow from being the smallest to the biggest fish processor on Lake Erie. In the process La Nassa has increased its employees from 35 to 105. Today, the company supplies our 230 Meijer stores with MSC certified Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch along with other lake species each year. That means our customers can eat local and sustainably.