Giant Food, New England Aquarium Unite
by Jamie Miller, Giant Food LLC
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:25:19 EST

ANDOVER, Md. - In a move that further strengthens its commitment to providing sustainable seafood to consumers, Giant Food, is working in cooperation with the New England Aquarium, to increase access to sustainable seafood available from seafood farms, hatcheries and processing plants that follow a program of environmental improvement and social consciousness. The New England Aquarium is a recognized international leader in ocean conservation, education, and research.

Members of the Giant Food seafood buying team, alongside a New England Aquarium shrimp specialist, traveled to Indonesia and Thailand to collaborate with Giant Food's shrimp vendor partners on environmental improvements. By doing so, this gives Giant and the New England Aquarium a way to identify "best practices" within individual businesses and work toward applying these practices to all vendors.

"We realized that we needed to better understand and review our full seafood effort in order to have a greater positive impact, "said Tracy Taylor, senior seafood buyer for Giant Food. "To continue to offer the variety of seafood choices that our customers want, we need to work with our vendor partners in the seafood industry to encourage sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices. The New England Aquarium has become an effective ally in helping us achieve those goals, working with us and the industry to establish benchmarks and best practices going forward."

"This initiative is an important tool for ocean conservation and we are proud of the steps Giant Food is undertaking," said Lydia Bergen, Director of Conservation at the New England Aquarium. "Changes in purchasing habits such as Giant Food has demonstrated will make a difference in the health of ocean ecosystems."

This program reflects a nearly decade-long commitment to improve, strengthen and expand a sustainable seafood program, centering on the creation of a 10-point policy for seafood purchasing and sales based on social, ecological and economic considerations.

Taylor points out, "Giant Food no longer sells Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, or any shark species because of the environmental concerns surrounding these fisheries. We actively promote items such as Pacific long-line-caught cod, farmed Arctic char, and farmed tilapia that come from well-managed fisheries and farms."

Giant Food educates their sales associates about catching and farming techniques that are less damaging to environmental resources using tools on the company's intranet so they can, in turn, educate customers.

Source: CSRwire LLC