Hy-Vee Adds Scallops to Fair Trade Seafood Selection
In recognition of National Seafood Month, Hy-Vee Inc. will introduce Fair Trade Certified fresh and frozen scallops in all of its stores, making it the first Midwest retailer to do so.
The scallops, which will arrive this month, come during a month used to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fishing practices and the health benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood. Hy-Vee plans to convert all of its scallop offerings to Fair Trade as additional supply becomes available.
The initiative is part of Hy-Vee’s partnership with nonprofit Fair Trade USA, a certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, to expand its Fair Trade seafood selection. The grocer also is working with the organization to build more resilient livelihoods in fishing communities, improve working and living conditions there, increase supply and demand for responsibly sourced seafood, and enhance environmental stewardship and ecosystem protection.
“Hy-Vee continues to work toward providing the very best in seafood for our Midwest customers,” said Brett Bremser, EVP and chief merchandising officer at the grocer. “Providing Fair Trade scallops gives our customers confidence that the scallops they enjoy from Hy-Vee were sourced responsibly.”
Caught off the coast of New England, the scallops are world-renowned for their texture, color and flavor, and offer shoppers a unique opportunity to support American fishing communities and Fair Trade practices in a single purchase.
“Fair Trade is all about empowering the people behind our favorite products,” said Julie Kuchepatov, director of seafood at Oakland, Calif.-based Fair Trade USA. “Thanks to Hy-Vee’s scallop offerings, Hy-Vee customers can extend these benefits to U.S. fishermen every time they shop.”
Fair Trade USA’s seafood program is said to be 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 empower fishermen with better working conditions, improved terms of trade, and additional income to invest in their businesses and communities.
The news follows Hy-Vee’s March announcement that it transitioned 100 percent of its service case yellowfin tuna to Fair Trade-certified sources as part of its seafood procurement policy. The policy was developed in partnership with FishWise, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee Inc., which is based in West Des Moines, Iowa, operates more than 240 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and employs 85,000 associates.