West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee, which placed fourth on the second edition of Greenpeace USA’s retailer report, committed to releasing its supplying vessel list in 2021 after consultation with Greenpeace USA and in partnership with FishWise. It remains the only company that has made this commitment, even as the retailer ranking report highlights the immediate need for improvement and transparency in global tuna supply chains.
In response to the release by Hy-Vee of its tuna supplier vessel list for the second year in a row, Greenpeace USA Senior Oceans Campaigner Marilu Cristina Flores said: “We applaud Hy-Vee on this step towards transparency on the global tuna industry’s practices at sea, which are notorious for human and environmental abuse. Through this action and its expansion of consumer transparency, Hy-Vee is demonstrating its commitment to genuine progress. Greenpeace USA is calling on all retailers to take similar action to ensure consumers have access to vessel lists and full transparency on the origins of their tuna.”
For years, the global Greenpeace network has exposed the egregious human rights violations, forced labor and illegal and environmentally damaging fishing practices that plague global tuna supply chains. These issues are worsened by the lack of traceability and transparency in these supply chains, which makes it nearly impossible to hold bad actors accountable.
As part of an investigation, staff from Greenpeace USA purchased a can of Bumble Bee tuna in 2022 from a Harris Teeter in Arlington, Va., which contained fish from a fishing vessel that US Customs and Border Protection confirmed had used forced labor. Greenpeace USA has called on Kroger, which owns Harris Teeter and is poised to acquire Albertsons, giving it a massive share of the market and uniquely positioning it to shift supply chain policies and norms, to take similar steps towards transparency and to stop selling tuna tainted by environmental and human rights abuses.