SCARBOROUGH, Maine, SALISBURY, N.C., and TAMPA, Fla., July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delhaize America today announced its banners – Hannaford, Sweetbay, Bottom Dollar Food, and Food Lion family of banners, including Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys and Reid's – will operate under a new sustainable seafood sourcing program. The supermarkets will move to selling seafood from sources that are managed to sustain the availability of seafood for current and future generations.
The supermarkets' new seafood policy requires suppliers to verify that seafood is coming from sources managed for sustainability and encourages sourcing locally. The requirement applies to all seafood in the stores, including fresh, frozen and packaged fish and shellfish. All suppliers are required to be compliant with the program by March 31, 2011.
"We want our shoppers to have confidence that seafood they buy from us is from fisheries that are viable and maintained for the future," said George Parmenter, a Corporate Responsibility manager for Delhaize America. "The health of fisheries is important to us as a retailer, both for the long-term product supply and for reducing the environmental impacts of products we sell. Our company is committed to operating responsibly, and our new program reinforces this commitment."
The new sustainable seafood sourcing program was developed in close partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), a non-profit marine science center. The comprehensive sustainable seafood policy requires all suppliers demonstrate that their seafood products come from well-managed fisheries. The fisheries, which could also be certified under a variety of sustainable certifications (such as the Marine Stewardship Council), must demonstrate a detailed management plan which includes the following components:
- Establishing plans to rebuild stock sizes within a specific timeframe if stock size levels are below target levels.
- Providing sufficient data to determine appropriate harvest levels or practices.
- Implementing monitoring and compliance measures to ensure harvest levels are maintained within acceptable limits.
- Maintaining enforcement policies to ensure harvesters follow regulations, and to prevent illegal practices and unreported harvest.
In the case of farm-raised seafood, suppliers must be certified by the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), a program of the Global Aquaculture Alliance. BAP certification ensures that the production of the product does not negatively impact communities, workers, the environment, or human health through inappropriate use of chemicals or drugs.
Another core component of the policy is the requirement that all seafood 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. The company has also 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. Delhaize America's ongoing Quality Assurance processes throughout the Delhaize America supply chain are part of the sustainable seafood sourcing programs.
As the first step in implementing the policy, all Delhaize America banners are collecting data from all seafood suppliers and are working with GMRI to evaluate that information. By March 31, 2011, all seafood products sold in Delhaize America's 1,600 stores, including Hannaford, Sweetbay, Food Lion family of banners and Bottom Dollar Food, must demonstrate compliance with the policy or show a clear action plan to reach compliance.
"The new policy encourages ongoing improvement in sustainability practices and promotes local fisheries," added Parmenter. "Our customers prefer local seafood, and we believe buying local provides fresh food, supports our local economies, and reduces environmental impacts from transporting seafood from longer distances. Through this work, we will ensure that the local seafood we've always sourced for customers will be healthy for the local environment and around for future generations to enjoy."
The seafood sustainability policy will be available on the Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Hannaford and Sweetbay Web sites.
About Delhaize America
Delhaize America is a leading supermarket operator in the United States with more than 1,600 stores in 16 states in the eastern United States. Delhaize America operates under the banners Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Harveys, Hannaford Supermarkets, Reid's and Sweetbay, each of which has a distinct strategy and a well-established brand image. Through its multiple banners, Delhaize America is able to target the needs and requirements of specific markets, customize its product and service offerings and maintain strong brand recognition with its local customers. Delhaize America employs approximately 109,000 full-time and part-time associates.
About Food Lion Family
The Food Lion Family, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates more than 1,300 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys or Reid's. These stores meet local customer needs and preferences for the freshest and best quality products. The Food Lion Family employs approximately 74,000 associates in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com.
About Bottom Dollar Food
Bottom Dollar Food, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates 28 stores in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Bottom Dollar Food is a full-shop discount grocer offering the most popular national brands and private brand products at everyday best prices. Bottom Dollar Food is redefining discount shopping with its lighthearted atmosphere and focus on fresh produce and quality meats. For more information, visit www.bottomdollarfood.com.
About Hannaford Supermarkets
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 176 stores and employs more than 27,000 associates in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Most Hannaford locations have full-service pharmacies and all stores feature Guiding Stars, the nation's first storewide nutrition navigation system. In 2009, Hannaford became the first supermarket chain in the world to open a store built to the highest standards (Platinum LEED) of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information visit www.hannaford.com.
About Sweetbay Supermarkets
Sweetbay Supermarkets provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, built from the ground up and developed from research in core markets to express the vibrant, exciting and diverse tastes, colors and aromas of food important to Floridians. Sweetbay offers outstanding value, quality and variety, routinely partnering with Florida growers, to bring shoppers the freshest food available in the state. Sweetbay Supermarkets was launched in November 2004 and is headquartered in Tampa, Fla. Sweetbay has 104 stores in Florida. For more information, go to www.sweetbaysupermarket.com.
SOURCE Delhaize America