Wegmans Advances in Seafood Sustainability

Wegmans Food Markets has joined forces with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to work on the grocer’s future seafood sustainability strategy.

“The seafood industry and what we know about its impact on the environment is always changing,” explained Carl Salamone, VP of seafood at Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, a family-owned chain operating 79 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. “So it only makes sense to partner with a group of experts that can keep track of the latest and greatest information. When SFP counsels us on the technical side of the business, it allows us to do what we do best: provide fresh, high-quality, responsible seafood to our customers.”

According to Dick Jones, global director, major buyer education team at Honolulu-based SFP, conscientious seafood buyers can influence retailers and suppliers to make long-term investments and changes resulting in better fisheries. He added that the Wegmans partnership “will make a positive impact on a global level.”

Wegmans required all of its seafood suppliers to provide information about the fisheries from which their products are sourced, the gear used for the catch, and other pertinent details. SFP will then analyze the data and prepare a report for Wegmans, with the aim of helping the grocer understand the effect its business has on the environment and status of seafood stocks.

Currently, SFP is focusing on wild-caught species, but is expected to focus on farmed seafood in the future.

“SFP is continuing to work on the analysis of the fisheries,” said Salamone. “Once that has been completed, we will evaluate the entire report and make a plan for the future. Our hope is to work with our suppliers to identify areas of the industry that can be improved and create plans to move forward. Sustainability is a never-ending goal.”

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