Meijer has partnered with Jackson, Mich.-based Indian Brook Trout Farm in an effort to highlight its commitment to seafood sustainability. The retailer will begin supplying the farm’s fresh, locally grown trout throughout its Midwest stores beginning in April.
“At Meijer, we’re focused on providing our customers with the freshest, highest quality seafood, which includes striving to offer seafood caught and farmed in the most responsible and sustainable way,” Meijer Seafood Buyer Dave Wier said in a statement. “Not only is this the right thing to do for the environment, but our customers want to know that the seafood they buy from us comes from sources that do not deplete or damage the resource.”
The Indian Brook Trout Farm is the only fresh pack Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified aquaculture facility in the nation, according to company officials. The certification program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with BAP standards throughout the entire aquaculture supply chain.
“To be BAP certified is to prove your commitment to the environment, social integrity, and the health of the animal and public,” said Wally Stevens, executive director of Global Aquaculture Alliance, in a statement.
The 90-acre fish farm touts its commitment, location and access to pure water, and utilizes water from a 10,000-year-old natural aquifer located 180 feet below the surface, which pumps pure water into dozens of fish tanks and ponds that house 350,000 rainbow trout at varying stages of growth. The farm does not use antibiotics, hormones or pesticides, and the fish are fed an 85% plant-based diet, per company officials. Plus, the farm collects all the fish waste to be sold to hops farmers due to its beneficial soil bacteria and neutral pH levels, and the water is returned to the natural aquifer clean.
“We are the only commercial grower in the state who does it this way,” Owen Ballow, president of Indian Brook Trout Farm, said in a statement. “We want this industry to grow in Michigan. Everything we’re trying to do at our farm—shape an industry, recover the wild fish populations and grow the cleanest fish around—supports local, so it just made sense to partner with Meijer.”
Meijer will be the exclusive supercenter carrying fish from Indian Brook Trout Farm, said Wier, noting that rainbow trout is one of the retailer’s best-selling fish.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.