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FAQS Terms &

Our Story

Food Lion is committed to do our part to ensure that seafood species are protected today and for generations to come. For us, it’s simply the responsible choice.

All Food Lion seafood products are traceable back to the seafood farm or source fishery and we only sell products harvested from a regulated environment. We recognize some farms and fisheries are well managed and some are not. Food Lion works closely with suppliers and third party agencies to encourage responsible practices.

We are proud to share that Food Lion’s sustainable seafood policy covers the widest range of products among all major U.S. grocery companies.


Why is Food Lion committed to sustainable seafood initiatives?

  • Food Lion’s commitment to sustainable seafood initiatives helps assure the availability of seafood for future generations and that production has a minimized amount of environmental impact. For more detailed information, refer to Food Lion’s seafood sustainability policy.

How does Food Lion encourage producers to operate responsibly?

  • Food Lion works with suppliers and third parties to find sources that comply with sustainable practices and our traceability standards.

Which products meet Food Lion’s sustainability standards?

  • All Food Lion seafood items meet the standards set forth in our policy.

How does Food Lion assure that farms and fisheries are in compliance?

  • Food Lion mandates that all seafood is traceable to the farm or source fishery. This way we know the details of its harvesting. Additionally, we partner with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to verify suppliers operate responsibly. All farmed products require 3rd party certification from The Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices standards program.

Where does Food Lion rank?

  • Food Lion and her sister companies lead the way with approximately 1,000 fresh, frozen and grocery seafood items in full compliance with our policy.

Can I learn more?

  • Yes you can. You can email our seafood expert and continue the discussion.

Terms & Definitions

A.S.C.— Aquaculture Stewardship Council- an independent not for profit organization that creates and manages standards for aquaculture sustainability certification (for farms and producers)

Biodiversity—The assortment of life in the world, particular habitat or ecosystem.

Bycatch—Marine animals, fish and birds inadvertently caught in fishing gear while fishing for target species.

Conservation—Preservation or restoration from loss, damage or neglect.

Effluent—Liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or sea.

Fishery—The Specific geographic region of a harvested for a specific seafood species.

Food miles—The total distance food travels from production to consumer.

G.A.A.—Global Aquaculture Alliance - an independent not for profit organization that creates and manages standards for aquaculture value chain sustainability certification (for feedstock, farms, processors and packers) and owner of the BAP Standard

GMO — Genetically Modified Organism

G.M.R.I.—Gulf of Maine Research Institute – is a non-profit marine science center located in Portland, Maine. Whose work strengthens the essential elements that define an enduring relationship with the ocean. GMRI is Food Lion’s science partner and advisor in sustainable seafood

M.S.C.—Marine Stewardship Council- an independent not for profit organization that creates and manages standards for wild caught fishery value chain sustainability

Seafood—Food Lion defines seafood products as fresh fish, chowders and food product with fish as a primary ingredient placed anywhere in the store.

Sustainable Seafood— Responsible seafood harvesting and production practice that protects ecosystems and species’ long-term viability.

Traceability—The ability to verify the origin of an item through documentation and/or data analysis from harvest to store placement. All seafood products sold at Food Lion are traceable back to the source fishery or farm.

Transparency—Intentional policy advocating openness, communication and accountability.

Click here if you have a question on where a specific seafood
product sold at your Food Lion comes from.

Our Policy

Committed to Seafood Sustainability

All seafood products sold in Food Lion Stores are from sustainable sources and can be traced back to the wild fishery or farm. Harvesting seafood products in a sustainable manner means that seafood is farmed or fished using a process ensuring that seafood will be available for future generations. Purchasing seafood products at our stores is a decision you can feel good about. Food Lion is partnering with well-respected third parties (Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Global Aquaculture Alliance), resulting in transparency between seafood harvesters, suppliers, Food Lion and the customer. This ensures products are harvested from approved sources.

Food Lion collaborates with our suppliers identifying opportunities to improve the sustainability of our seafood products. Advances include:

  • Promoting harvesting methods that decrease bycatch.
  • Promoting fishery improvement projects.
  • Decreasing food miles by optimizing food networks.
  • Improve handling procedures to maintain product quality.
  • Rewarding suppliers who meet or exceed voluntary sourcing measures.
  • Food Lion will work to reward suppliers who utilize these voluntary sourcing measures.

Food Lion is committed to educating our associates and suppliers on seafood sustainability. Customers can access information in publications, at the point of sale and online. Click here for more information regarding sustainable seafood.

Traceability Requirement

Food Lion has immediate access to information regarding the location of harvested product.
Food Lion requires that the seafood products we sell be traceable to the farm or source fishery.


Food Lion believes transparency is essential to maintain credibility. The following steps ensure our seafood sourcing policy is transparent:

  • Maintaining a public seafood sourcing policy.
  • Annual review and updates.
  • Publicizing summarizations of annual goals and action steps.
  • Maintaining a network of publicly available education material,
    including but not limited to:
    • Websites
    • In-store labeling and signage


The following species are exempt from one or more of our policy tenets due to credible, scientific agreement that the fishery is not at risk.

  • Hoe harvested shellfish—globally
  • Crawfish—from China
  • Squid—globally
  • Jonah Crab—Gulf of Maine

Due to concerns surrounding the effectiveness of RFMO (regional fishery management organizations) to manage and enforce tuna fisheries, the additional requirement of demonstrating partnership with ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation) is applicable for all tuna providers.

Aquaculture Guidelines

v  Property Rights and Regulatory Compliance
  • Farms shall comply with local and national laws and environmental regulations, and provide current documentation that demonstrates legal rights for land use, water use, construction, operation and waste disposal.
>  Community Relations
  • Farms shall strive for good community relations and not block access to public areas, common land, fishing grounds or other traditional natural resources used by local communities. Worker Safety and Employee Relations Farms shall comply with local and national labor laws to assure adequate worker safety, compensation and, where applicable, on-site living conditions.
>  Wetland Conservation and Biodiversity
  • Aquaculture facilities shall not be located in mangrove or other sensitive wetland areas where they displace important natural habitats. Farm operations shall not damage wetlands or reduce the biodiversity of other ecosystems. Wetland area removed for allowable purposes shall be mitigated.
>  Effluent Management
  • Farms shall monitor their effluents to confirm compliance with BAP effluent water quality criteria. In lakes, reservoirs and estuaries, operations shall comply with feeding rate limits.
>  Fishmeal and Fish Oil Conservation
  • Farms shall accurately monitor feed inputs and minimize the use of fishmeal and fish oil derived from wild fisheries.
>  Soil and Water Conservation
  • Farm construction and operations shall not cause soil and water salinization or deplete groundwater in surrounding areas. Farms shall properly manage and dispose of sediment from ponds, canals and settling basins.
>  Control of Escapes, Use of GMOs
  • Farms shall take measures to minimize escapes of farm stock and comply with governmental regulations regarding the use of native and non-native species, and genetically modified organisms.
>  Storage and Disposal of Farm Supplies
  • Fuel, lubricants and agricultural chemicals shall be stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Paper and plastic refuse shall be disposed of in a sanitary and responsible way.
>  Animal Welfare
  • Producers shall demonstrate that all operations on farms that involve fish are designed and operated with animal welfare in mind. Employees shall be trained to provide appropriate levels of husbandry.
>  Drug and Chemical Management
  • Banned antibiotics, drugs and other chemical compounds shall not be used. Other therapeutic agents shall be used as directed on product labels for control of diagnosed diseases or required pond management, not prophylactic purposes.
>  Microbial Sanitation
  • Human waste and untreated animal manure shall be prevented from contaminating pond waters. Domestic sewage shall be treated and not contaminate surrounding areas.
>  Harvest and Transport
  • Fish shall be harvested and transported to processing plants or other markets in a manner that maintains temperature control and minimizes stress, physical damage and contamination.


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