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We believe sustainability is a never-ending journey. Part of that journey leads us to focus our efforts on a sustainably-sourced seafood supply. We are proud of our seafood, and we want our people and our customers to know about it.
From the fresh seafood counter and the Sushi department, to the Wegmans brand products in the freezer case and the canned tuna in the grocery aisle, we partner only with trusted suppliers who meet our high standards and share our value for making a difference. We require them to follow best practices to help protect natural resources. Our merchants personally visit supplier facilities, and rely on codes of practice and third-party audits to implement and verify our rigorous specifications. These steps help us support fishermen, their families, and their communities while offering affordable seafood of the highest quality to our customers.
Working closely with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) since 2011, we rely on science and data to help us decide how and where to responsibly source all seafood carried at Wegmans. SFP scientists evaluate fisheries around the world and we use their information to understand our company’s impact on the future of seafood sustainability so we can make responsible sourcing decisions.
Our wild-caught seafood suppliers must meet Wegmans' high standards to source seafood that is caught responsibly and helps prevent depletion and/or destruction of natural resources.
Our best practices:
In July 2016, we implemented a procurement policy for all tuna sold at Wegmans. Where possible, we source tuna from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or from an active FIP. We source from well-managed stocks and from fisheries that use the most current, best practices in methods, bycatch reduction and human welfare. We also support the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation’s common ground philosophy for tuna sustainability. Our full policy is available here and covers issues related to fishing gear types, FIPs, traceability, and social responsibility.
We’ve just launched two new premium tuna items: Pole and Line Caught Albacore and Pole and Line Caught Yellowfin Tuna. There are so many good things about the 5 oz. of tuna in each can that it’s hard to know where to start. This wild caught method of fishing (one line, one fish) is safer to other marine animals, because it virtually eliminates bycatch (meaning fish caught incidentally and often discarded when other methods are used). The smaller fish that are caught typically have lower mercury levels, another plus.
This premium tuna is hand-filleted and packed before cooking, and nothing is added except a touch of sea salt (no brine, no oil). There are high levels of EPA/DHA Omega 3 oils--1300 mg per can in the albacore and 300 mg for the yellowfin; so we recommend not draining those natural juices. And, there is no BPA used in the can lining.
Our supplier partner, a family-owned organization, relies on a small group of highly skilled workers specially trained to handle this sustainable tuna. A good catch!
Some fisheries have no management programs. Wegmans has made a decision to not offer the following species for this reason:
When no management program exists, Wegmans strongly encourages adoption of a program and/or participation in a Fishery Improvement Project and will consider withdrawing product from our stores until one or both of those steps are in place. Additionally, Wegmans will not sell any seafood products sourced directly from the Ross Sea due to unresolved concerns over the fisheries, and Wegmans believes a no-take Marine Reserve would benefit this area.
Learn more information about U.S. Seafood here.
In an effort to offer high-quality seafood that is more affordable, Wegmans turns to the science of aquaculture. We encourage suppliers to adopt farming standards that reduce the negative impacts on local wildlife and ecosystems and minimize or eliminate the use of wild fish in the feed, pesticides, and antibiotics. When appropriate, we work with organizations such as the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) that specialize in understanding the challenges surrounding farm-raised seafood. In September 2009, we began working with Trace Register, a company that recognizes the importance of understanding exactly where food comes from and how it has been raised, caught, harvested, and shipped before it reaches the plate. Currently, 100% of our farm-raised seafood is completely traceable.
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