George Parmenter

Sustainability Manager, Delhazie America / Hannaford Supermarkets

We want to operate as a responsible company and sustainability is a big part of that. We think that there is a business case to be made for sustainability, but also as a productive member of the community, sustainability is an important way for us to achieve that goal.

Three years ago we started a partnership with Gulf of Maine Research Institute primarily out of an acknowledgement that we didn't know a lot about the subject matter. We were not experts on fisheries. We don't know a lot of the scientific things that we would need to know to make intelligent decisions, to make the right decisions.

Gulf of Maine Research Institute, aside from guiding us and creating our policy, has helped us assess all of the products that we sell where seafood is the primary ingredient: something like 2500 products over 150 or so suppliers. Item by item we went through an assessment process: what is the seafood? where was it harvested? how was it harvested? who harvested it? What Gulf of Maine Research Institute helped us do was evaluate the merits of that particular fishery and whether we should be associated with it or not. And there were some things we decided we could no longer sell because of that process.

Having that credible third party is really important. So it's really not Hannaford saying we did this, its Gulf of Maine Research standing right alongside us saying we did it. It's that plus the technical and scientific expertise which we would just never have.

There's a great opportunity to educate and inform people. You can't do a lot of that in a supermarket setting but we can do some of that and we try to.