Albertsons dives deep into seafood traceability

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Albertsons dives deep into seafood traceability

By Dan Ochwat - 09/30/2020

October is National Seafood Month and Albertsons is shining a light on its responsible seafood practices, particularly around the traceability and sustainable practices of its waterfront Bistro own brand.

The company subscribes to its own Responsible Seafood Policy, a comprehensive commitment to providing seafood from socially responsible sources across frozen seafood, sushi and shelf-stable tuna, as well as earmarks the importance of traceability and policy engagement. All of the company’s waterfront Bistro and Open Nature seafood products meet the policy’s standards.

This month, the retailer is working with FishWise to honor National Seafood Month, an annual collaboration between the two to review best practices of its vendor partners to strengthen traceability and decrease environmental impacts. 

For example, Albertsons focused on its domestic waterfront Bistro wild-caught shrimp product from the fishery Paul Piazza and Son, a family-owned business in Louisiana. FishWise and Albertsons conducted a comprehensive review of all available supply chain documentation to fully trace the wild-caught shrimp from the ocean floor to the stores. This assessment helped verify claims that the product is in fact sourced from a high-performing Fishery Improvement Project, is legally harvested, and undergoes robust traceability and data collection practices.

Albertsons said shrimp is America’s number one consumed seafood but some imported shrimp have raised concerns around impacts on the environment and social welfare. "Seafood products which utilize domestic fisheries, and are processed in the U.S., have a lower risk of being affiliated with labor issues,” said Michelle Beritzhoff-Law, FishWise’s Project Director. “However, reviewing the traceability systems for domestic products, as we did in this project, is still very important. Data collection and verification exercises help validate any social responsibility and environmental claims. We applaud Albertsons Companies for their due diligence and commitment to working with vendors to improve their seafood supply chain, she added."

Albertsons Companies Director of Seafood Anthony Snow spent time shrimp fishing with Paul Piazza and Son Inc.

As part of the shrimp review, Albertsons director of seafood Anthony Snow spent a day shrimp fishing with Paul Piazza and Son and visited their processing facility.

“What makes this shrimp special is that it comes from Gulf of Mexico fisheries that are involved in Fishery Improvement Projects that are actively advancing the sustainability and traceability of shrimp sourced from the Gulf,” said Snow. “Our customers can feel good about choosing a domestic shrimp that is good for the planet and for local fishers, too.”

Albertsons traceability projects are conducted as part of its Responsible Seafood Program and to provide tailored recommendations to suppliers, such as outlining the strengths and challenges found in suppliers’ operations and provide actionable steps to be taken to help mitigate potential traceability risks.