Delhaize Group is implementing a sustainable seafood policy in its US stores

Delhaize Group is implementing a sustainable seafood policy in its US stores

Delhaize has announced that its US banners will operate under a new sustainable seafood sourcing programme.

The Belgian retailer's Hannaford, Sweetbay, Bottom Dollar Food and Food Lion family of banners will procure seafood from sources that are managed to sustain levels for current and future generations.

The new policy means all suppliers will have to verify that seafood is coming from sources managed for sustainability and encouraged local sourcing. The move will cover all seafood sold in stores including fresh, frozen and packaged fish and shellfish. The programme was developed in close partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), a non-profit marine science centre.

The retailer is calling for all suppliers to be compliant by 31 March 2011. The fisheries must demonstrate a detailed management plan which includes: establishing plans to rebuild stock sizes within a specific time frame if stock levels are below target levels, providing sufficient date to determine appropriate harvest levels are maintained within acceptable limits and maintaining enforcement policies to ensure harvesters follow regulations and prevent illegal practices.

Farm raised seafood suppliers will need to be certified by the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), a programme run by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

All Delhaize America banners are collecting date from all seafood suppliers and working with GMRI to evaluate that information. By 31 March 2011, all seafood products sold in the retailer's 1,600 stores must demonstrate compliance with the policy or show a clear action plan to reach compliance.