Giant Food has joined the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP), a global platform that fosters sustainable seafood practices by enabling retailers and other businesses to voluntarily report their sourcing methods.
Landover, Md.-based Giant said Tuesday that the move takes its sustainable seafood policy a step further: ODP will make the original sources of the supermarket chain’s own-brand, wild-caught seafood available to the public. Under the current policy, all of the retailer’s Giant brand, Nature’s Promise and service case seafood is 100% sustainably sourced, meaning that the seafood was raised via methods that preserve the well-being of the fishery or farm and the integrity of the fish.
According to Giant Food’s ODP profile, the chain uses 41 fisheries, of which 16 are certified and six are part of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). Nineteen of the fisheries used by the retailer are assessed as low-risk by a nonprofit science partner.
“We want shoppers to be able to trust that when they purchase any seafood product from Giant, that it is coming from a verified source,” Giant Food President Ira Kress said in a statement. “Participating in the ODP represents our assurance to total transparency and being able to offer products that are in line with our commitment to sustainable sourcing throughout every department of the store.”
ODP participation is open to all businesses that source wild-caught and/or farmed seafood. Other grocery retailers in the United States that participate in ODP include Aldi US, Food Lion, Hannaford, The Giant Company, Giant Eagle, Meijer, Publix, Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Giant said it also serves as a partner of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), which ensures that all seafood that enters its stores is vetted against specific criteria in the grocer’s sustainable seafood policy.
“Knowing where your seafood comes from is a critical element of any effort to buy sustainable seafood,” according to Kyle Foley, sustainable seafood senior program manager at GMRI. “By joining the ODP, Giant Food is pulling back the curtain and being transparent about the original sources of the seafood sold in stores.”
Through its Bags 4 My Cause program, Giant also has donated $15,000 to the Alliance of the Chesapeake Bay, a group that unites communities, companies and conservationists to improve lands and waters. The funds come from shopper Community Bag purchases in the program, which reduces single-use plastic and paper waste and helps support local nonprofit organizations.
Part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Giant Food operates 164 supermarkets, 153 in-store pharmacies, 82 PNC Banks and 24 Starbucks locations in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.