Meijer Launches Seafood Sustainability Initiative

Comprehensive certification program to be completed by end of 2012.

GRAND RAPIDS—Meijer has launched a comprehensive seafood sustainability initiative, which will ensure all Meijer seafood suppliers follow specific sustainability guidelines for both farmed and wild-caught seafood. The announcement was made Thursday by Hank Meijer, co-chairman and chief executive officer.

“Meijer has a great track record of working with responsible seafood suppliers,” Meijer said. “As we grow, the launch of this seafood sustainability initiative is simply the next step to ensuring we continue to provide our customers with seafood farmed and caught in the most responsible and sustainable way.”

Meijer offers a full range of options to the millions of seafood customers its serves each year. A wide range of fresh seafood, both farmed and wild caught, is available at Meijer stores and those products are always clearly labeled with country of origin.

As is true industry wide, the majority of the seafood Meijer sells comes from the aquaculture industry. Meijer has partnered with the Global Aquaculture Alliance to help the company maintain its high standards for farmed seafood by ensuring its seafood suppliers operate in the most beneficial way for the industry and the environment. This commitment to sustainable aquaculture means Meijer will continue to work with the Alliance as it develops and refines its seafood sustainability program, while also helping its suppliers achieve sustainable aquaculture programs through a strict adherence to Best Aquaculture Practices.

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 —that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means.

As Meijer began developing its seafood sustainability program, it confirmed the majority of its seafood suppliers were already achieving high levels of certification relative to the BAP standards. With assistance from the GAA, Meijer has been able to help many of its suppliers increase their certification to even higher levels, while finding alternate suppliers to replace those who could not meet Meijer standards.

Meanwhile, Meijer also sells several varieties of wild caught seafood. Meijer joined forces with the international nonprofit organization, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, to work closely with seafood suppliers and producers in the development of Fishery and Aquaculture Improvement Partnerships. These partnerships focus on building consensus around specific improvements in policies, marine conservation measures, fishing, and fish-farming practices.