Food Lion has joined the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP), a global platform on which retailers voluntarily share insight into their sourcing methods to ensure sustainability.
All seafood products sold at Food Lion are fully traceable to the wild fishery or farm, and come from sustainable sources, and the grocer’s Ocean Disclosure Project public profile outlines the origin of wild-caught species offered for sale at its 1,000-plus stores. The easy-reference platform, which allows shoppers to make better-informed decisions, will be updated annually.
The ODP was created by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, a Honolulu-based nonprofit organization that works directly with the seafood industry.
“When you buy seafood at Food Lion, you can trust that the products you buy in our stores are brought to you in a way that you can feel good about,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “Being a good neighbor, to us, means offering the products and services our customers expect from Food Lion, but also sourcing and packaging those products and operating our stores in a sustainable way. It’s important to us that our customers know where their seafood comes from, so it only makes sense to join the ODP and make public the origin of wild-caught seafood sold in our stores.”
Food Lion works closely with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to vet all seafood that enters its stores according to the specific criteria in the grocer’s sustainable seafood policy.
“Being able to trace seafood back to its source has always been an important part of Food Lion’s seafood policy, and joining the ODP adds a new level of transparency that is exciting and important for driving change on global seafood sustainability issues,” noted Kyle Foley, senior program manager at Portland, Me.-based GMRI.
Other retailer participants in the ODP include Aldi, Giant Eagle, Lidl, Meijer, Publix and Walmart.
Food Lion’s other recent sustainability efforts include new commitment to restrict certain chemicals from all private label products and packaging, working in partnership with Retail Business Services, which develops private brand products for each of the Ahold Delhaize USA local brands. The commitment also includes working with suppliers to make sure that products meet high standards for ingredients beyond what’s currently required by law, and a collaboration with suppliers to address the root causes of contaminants.
The company is also the only retailer in United States that has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star award for 18 straight years, resulting in energy reductions that are equivalent to powering almost 100,000 homes for one year.
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.