SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y Foods  here has announced that it will be using Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification for its fresh seafood products. The certification involves a comprehensive traceability program, which proves that a product was sourced from a fishery that has been independently assessed and certified sustainable by MSC.
To obtain MSC Chain of Custody certification, retailers such as Big Y must pass an independent third-party audit conducted by an accredited certifier, and undergo annual surveillance audits to prove that it continues to meet the standard, according to a release. These audits ensure that the retailer has internal traceability systems and reliable operational systems in place to keep MSC certified seafood properly labeled and separate from non-certified seafood.
“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,” Michael D'Amour, Big Y vice president of sales and marketing, said in a release. “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.”
North Coast Seafood is Big Y's primary fresh seafood supplier, and initially, MSC certified products will include North Coast wild salmon, cod, halibut and haddock.
“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,” Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director, Americas, said in the release. “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.”