Named for its distinctive striped appearance, our EU-certified Organic Black Tiger Shrimp have a sweeter taste and crisper texture than most other shrimp. These delicious shrimp come to us from a collective of family-run farms in the responsibly managed mangrove forests of southern Vietnam. When our seafood team traveled to Vietnam to visit the shrimp farms and processing facilities, they learned that shrimp farming is more than just a job for the families maintaining each pond; it’s a way of life. “My wife and I have been living on our shrimp farm in the mangrove forest for over 18 years. Operating this farm enables us to maintain a sustainable life,” says shrimp farmer Trung Tin.
“Our Wegmans team inspected facilities and observed the shrimp farmers and processors firsthand from start to finish in Vietnam,” says Wegmans Seafood Group Manager Steve Philips. “We regularly visit suppliers near our stores and around the world to evaluate them in person. Wegmans seeks out and supports third-party certifications, but we feel that there is no substitute for boots-on-the-ground learning on behalf of our customers.”
Harvest happens quickly in the mangrove forests
Farmers like Trung Tin are responsible for raising and harvesting the shrimp as well as caring for their habitat. Just like wild shrimp, these shrimp feed naturally among the mangrove’s gnarly roots, so maintaining the forest is crucial to the farm’s success. A portion of the mangrove trees are harvested for timber every 10 years, and the harvested area is re-planted to restore resources for the next generation.
“Our Wegmans team inspected facilities and observed the shrimp farmers and processors firsthand from start to finish in Vietnam.”
Wegmans Seafood Group Manager
Harvest happens quickly in the mangrove forests. In the pre-dawn hours, shrimp is netted from the pond and immediately put on ice to be sorted, then swiftly transported to a nearby collection center. After initial quality checks, it’s labeled for traceability back to the specific farmer; this lot code follows the shrimp from this point to our shelves. A fast transfer to a pristine processing facility near the farm is next, where the shrimp are cleaned, peeled, deveined, and packaged before being shipped to Wegmans. (Naturally, because these shrimp are EU Certified Organic, no antibiotics or chemicals are ever used.) This entire journey, from pond to processing, takes only about two hours!