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Albertsons, FishWise Team for Sustainable Sourcing

October 12, 2020

Albertsons Companies and FishWise honor October’s National Seafood Month by shining a spotlight on a collaborative project focused on improving seafood traceability. Now, more than ever, traceability is key as we strive to adapt and rebuild global seafood supply chains that have been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing transparency enables risks to be identified, and helps companies support practices that improve both environmental and social responsibility.

Every year, as part of their Responsible Seafood Program, Albertsons Companies works with FishWise to review the best practices of a number of vendor partners to strengthen traceability and decrease environmental impacts. This year, Albertsons Companies focused on a domestic waterfront BISTRO® wild-caught shrimp product from Paul Piazza and Son Inc., a family-owned and run business based in Louisiana. The teams conducted a comprehensive review of all available supply chain documentation (digital and otherwise) to fully trace this wild-caught shrimp from the ocean floor to your local Albertsons Companies store. This assessment verifies claims that this product is sourced from a high-performing Fishery Improvement Project, is legally harvested, and undergoes robust traceability and data collection practices.

Shrimp has been America’s top consumed seafood for years, but some imported shrimp have raised concerns due to the potential impacts on the environment as well as social welfare. "Seafood products which utilize domestic fisheries, and are processed in the U.S., have a lower risk of being affiliated with labor issues.” Said Michelle Beritzhoff-Law, FishWise’s Project Director. “However, reviewing the traceability systems for domestic products, as we did in this project, is still very important. Data collection and verification exercises help validate any social responsibility and environmental claims. We applaud Albertsons Companies for their due diligence and commitment to working with vendors to improve their seafood supply chain, she added.”

To better understand their practices, Albertsons Companies Director of Seafood Anthony Snow spent a day shrimp fishing with Paul Piazza and Son, Inc., and visited their processing facility.

“What makes this shrimp special is that it comes from Gulf of Mexico fisheries that are involved in Fishery Improvement Projects that are actively advancing the sustainability and traceability of shrimp sourced from the Gulf,” said Snow. “Our customers can feel good about choosing a domestic shrimp that is good for the planet and for local fishers, too.”

These projects have an Advanced Progress rating and are making improvements on the water with robust fisheries observer coverage and efforts to reduce bycatch— the unintended catch of other species, such as sea turtles.

President of Paul Piazza and Son Inc. and great-grandson of Paul Piazza, Kristen Baumer said, “Engaging in these projects brings additional transparency to our seafood supply chain and helps us to identify where we can continue to make improvements.”

All of Albertsons Companies’ waterfront BISTRO and Open Nature® seafood meets their Responsible Seafood Policy, and these traceability projects are conducted as part of their rigorous Responsible Seafood Program so that Albertsons Companies can provide tailored recommendations to suppliers. These recommendations outline the strengths and challenges found in suppliers’ operations and provide actionable steps they can take to help mitigate potential traceability risks.

As seafood lovers celebrate National Seafood Month this October and continue to prepare meals at home, Albertsons Companies invites shoppers to include responsibly harvested shrimp in their next dish and use their consumer power to support products that have a positive impact on both ocean ecosystems and fishers’ lives and livelihoods. Look for Albertsons Companies’ waterfront BISTRO Wild Gulf Shrimp in the frozen section in three different sizes at your local Albertsons Companies stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, United, ACME Markets, Shaw’s, Star Market, and others. Customers can look for Albertsons Companies’ Responsible Choice logo on their waterfront BISTRO and Open Nature seafood products to know that it was caught or farmed in ways that safeguard future supplies and help keep ecosystems thriving.

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