Grocers are upping the ante on seafood sustainability practices as more Americans want to learn about where their products come from.
As consumers increasingly seek out more sustainable seafood, Publix Super Markets and Ahold Delhaize USA are marking World Ocean Day (June 8) by sharing their commitments to the cause. The timing has never been better as a poll commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation recently found that 70% of Americans want their seafood to be sourced sustainably and 65% would like to know where their food is processed.
For the 12th year, Publix has made a $40,000 donation to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and also plans to work with the organization to understand and analyze current fishing practices in the supply chain. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, a nonprofit marine conservation organization dedicated to bringing retailers, seafood buyers and their supply chains together to protect the environment, has collaborated with Publix since 2009.
Publix has contributed a total of $480,000 to support the organization and this year has become the first U.S. retailer to join with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, BirdLife International and Whale and Dolphin Conservation to review and understand the risks from the unintended catch of ocean wildlife in the seafood sourcing supply chain.
“It’s a priority to Publix to source from healthy, well-managed fisheries,” said Publix Business Development Director of Seafood Guy Pizzuti. “We look forward to continuing to work with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and across the seafood industry to address unintended catch of endangered, threatened and protected species.”
“Sustainable seafood includes reducing the harm from fishing to sharks, marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds,” said Kathryn Novak, global markets director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. “Action by retailers like Publix, as well as the entire seafood supply chain, is essential to preserving ocean wildlife.”
Ahold Delhaize USA, meanwhile, is celebrating its sustainable seafood progress, which now includes sustainably sourced seafood across each of the U.S. brands’ full assortments of seafood products. The retailer has worked with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to support sustainable seafood efforts within its U.S. brands, and has assessed more than 3,000 products to ensure they meet its rigorous standards.
“Our commitments to enable greater transparency are grounded in our belief that consumers deserve to know where their food comes from and that it contains ingredients they trust,” said Brittni Furrow, VP of health and sustainability for Ahold Delhaize USA. “What’s most meaningful about the sustainable seafood work is that it’s a tangible example of our companies’ commitments to their customers and dedication to putting into practice the sustainability outcomes we have committed to.”
Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The company plans to expand its operations into Kentucky in 2023. Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on the list. Its brands are Food Lion, FreshDirect, The Giant Co., Giant Food, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Peapod and Retail Business Services.