Following similar news from other grocery retailers such as Walmart Canada and Metro, Delhaize America has announced last week that all of its supermarkets are now part of a new sustainable seafood program.
The new comprehensive seafood policy –which applies to all supermarkets in the chain, including Hannaford, Sweetbay, the Food Lion family of banners and Bottom Dollar Food — requires suppliers to verify that seafood is coming from sources managed for sustainability. It applies to all seafood in the stores, including fresh, frozen and packaged fish and shellfish.
Developed in close partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), a nonprofit marine science center, the new policy encourages sourcing locally and interestingly, it also requires that seafood products be fully traceable to the port of landing or farm. As a result, all Delhaize America supermarkets will have immediate access to information about where the product was harvested, thus enabling the company to confirm claims around sustainable harvest. In addition, Delhaize has built rewards into the system for seafood businesses that adopt sustainable harvesting practices, such as strategies to minimize accidental catch of fish not intended for market or to prevent damage to marine habitats.
All suppliers are required to be compliant with the program by March 31, 2011.
Greenpeace has been pushing for supermarkets to adopt sustainable seafood policies and has published a sustainable seafood guide since 2008.
More details about Delhaize’s sustainable seafood policy are available here.