Albertsons Cos. has teamed with FishWise to honor National Seafood Month in October by shining a spotlight on a collaborative project focused on improving seafood traceability.
According to Albertsons, “traceability is key as we strive to adapt and rebuild global seafood supply chains that have been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing transparency enables risks to be identified, and helps companies support practices that improve both environmental and social responsibility.”
Every year, as part of their Responsible Seafood Program, Albertsons works with Santa Cruz, California FishWise to review the best practices of a number of vendor partners to strengthen traceability and decrease environmental impacts. This year, Albertsons focused on a domestic waterfront Bistro wild-caught shrimp product from Paul Piazza and Son Inc., a family-owned and -run business based in New Orleans.
The teams conducted a comprehensive review of all available supply-chain documentation (digital and otherwise) to fully trace this wild-caught shrimp from the ocean floor to a local Albertsons banner store. This assessment verifies claims that this product is sourced from a high-performing fishery improvement project, is legally harvested, and undergoes robust traceability and data collection practices.
Shrimp has been America’s most consumed seafood for years, but some imported shrimp has raised concerns due to its potential impacts on the environment as well as on social welfare.
“Seafood products which utilize domestic fisheries, and are processed in the U.S., have a lower risk of being affiliated with labor issues,” said Michelle Beritzhoff-Law, FishWise’s project director. “However, reviewing the traceability systems for domestic products, as we did in this project, is still very important. Data collection and verification exercises help validate any social responsibility and environmental claims. We applaud Albertsons Cos. for their due diligence and commitment to working with vendors to improve their seafood supply chain.”
To better understand their practices, Albertsons Director of Seafood Anthony Snow spent a day shrimp fishing with Paul Piazza and Son and visited the company's processing facility.
“What makes this shrimp special is that it comes from Gulf of Mexico fisheries that are involved in fishery improvement projects that are actively advancing the sustainability and traceability of shrimp sourced from the Gulf,” said Snow. “Our customers can feel good about choosing a domestic shrimp that is good for the planet and for local fishers, too.”
These projects have an Advanced Progress rating and are making improvements on the water with robust fisheries-observer coverage and efforts to reduce bycatch — the unintended catch of other species such as sea turtles.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates 2,252 retail stores with 1,726 pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 23 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America.