Hy-Vee places code of conduct for seafood suppliers

The employee-owned grocery chain says that all of the retailer's seafood suppliers have agreed to the new policy.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee is adopting a new policy that will impact the retailer’s branded and private label seafood inventory.

The company is adopting the Seafood Supplier Code of Conduct, aiming to ensure that Hy-Vee’s suppliers enforce safe working conditions and that seafood harvesting and production is done legally and transparently. The code of conduct is Hy-Vee’s most recent initiative to build a comprehensive seafood sustainability program. Hy-Vee collaborated with FishWise, a sustainable seafood nonprofit consultancy, to adopt the new policy. As of 2018, all of Hy-Vee’s private brand tuna has been approved as sustainably sourced.

Since its adoption in January 2021, 100% of Hy-Vee’s active seafood suppliers have received and signed a copy of the new Seafood SCoC.

“Hy-Vee is committed to advancing social responsibility in our seafood supply chains, and this new Code of Conduct is an articulation of our company values and commitments that we believe align with our customers' expectations,” said Jason Pride, vice president of meat and seafood for Hy-Vee. “This sends a clear message to all our suppliers of the standards and expectations we have for doing business together.”

Hy-Vee said that based on the results of a supplier social responsibility assessment conducted last year, many of the company’s seafood suppliers were found to already have strong policies and practices in place, such as human and labor rights codes of conducts, regular human rights risk assessments and social audits and worker grievance mechanisms. Hy-Vee said its goal is to support the work already being conducted by suppliers and identify opportunities where social responsibility improvements can be made.

Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of more than $12 billion annually. The chain employs over 91,000 people.