Big Y Supermarket Makes A Long Term Seafood Sustainability Commitment with MSC Certification.
Oct 05, 2011
Family Owned Grocer Says MSC Certification Emphasizes Core Values and Customer Focus.
Big Y, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year as a family owned, American business in New England, has something new to celebrate, Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification for its fresh seafood counters. The distinctive blue MSC ecolabel now appears in Big Y fresh cases to help customers identify MSC certified wild caught seafood.
The MSC Chain of Custody certification is a comprehensive traceability program that traces seafood from the fresh case back to an MSC certified fishery. It ensures that MSC labeled products are sourced from a fishery that has been independently assessed and met the MSC’s rigorous, scientific standard, and it protects buyers and the fishery from fraudulent labeling and risks from fisheries carrying products from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. As a result, the sustainability of the source of that seafood product is ensured and the MSC certified fishery of origin receives well-deserved recognition for its environmentally responsible fishing practices.
To obtain MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, a grocery retailer must pass an independent, third-party audit that is conducted by an accredited certifier, and it must undergo annual surveillance audits to demonstrate it continues to meet the standard. The CoC standard focuses on having an internal traceability system and reliable operational systems in place to ensure that MSC certified seafood is kept separate from non-certified seafood. Worldwide, more than 1,800 companies have obtained Chain of Custody certification.
What the MSC says
Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director, Americas, said: “Big Y’s commitment to the Marine Stewardship Council program will enable its customers to make choices that directly recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices and we welcome Big Y into the MSC program. Tens of thousands of Big Y employees and customers can now play a direct role in helping to preserve seafood supplies and livelihoods for future generations.”
About Big Y
Big Y employs more than 10,000 people in 61 stores across Massachusetts and Connecticut. The company has a stated focus on corporate social responsibility as a way of life and treating customers as neighbors. Big Y has an emphasis on large seafood departments and fresh seafood products, including fish and chips made fresh daily, a tradition that recognizes New England’s ties to fishing and the sea.
What Big Y says
Michael D’Amour, Big Y vice president of Sales and Marketing, said: "At Big Y we have always taken a great deal of pride in offering the best seafood products available with many of them from local suppliers here in New England. Now we're very excited to offer a number of items that are certified sustainable so that our customers know that our seafood is not only better for us, but also better for the environment."
Big Y sources almost all of its fresh seafood from North Coast Seafood and initially Big Y will offer customers MSC certified wild salmon, cod, halibut and haddock. Norm Stavis, president of North Coast said: “The Big Y and North Coast families’ share three generations of family ownership and are dedicated to preserving seafood for our future generations. Together with MSC, we have worked tirelessly with independent fisherman, government agencies, and responsible fishery managers to achieve our collective vision for sustainable fisheries. Supporting this certification will ensure the future of sustainable fisheries and provide Big Y customers with sustainable, safe, local and wholesome seafood… from our family to yours.”