Michigan-based Meijer has announced a deal to partner with a 900-tonne trout farm in the state that boasts Best Aquaculture Practices certifications, or BAP, in a yet another example of a U.S. retailer learning how to market salmonids.
“The farm and its new processing plant are operating in the most responsible and sustainable manner,” a statement said.
So, along with the chain’s farmed Atlantic Salmon fillets that sell at USD 6.99/lb (USD 15.5 per kilogram) and wild Canadian trout fillets at USD 7.49 a pound, Meijer will sell “never-frozen” trout from a dedicated farm. The Grand Rapids supermarket chain operates 250 supermarkets and grocery stores throughout Michigan, a state on the Great Lakes of North America, where trout are a favoured species.
“Trout is the fish we all grew up on in Michigan,” said Owen Ballow, president of the 90-acre Indian Brook Trout Farm in Jackson, Michigan. In a YouTube video, he said he uses a pound of feed to get a pound of trout.
“It’s in our rivers, in our streams and lakes,” he stated, adding, “This fish will be delivered to our stores six days a week, as soon as 36 hours after harvesting at the trout farm. That is incredibly fresh fish.”
The BAP certification program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with BAP standards throughout the entire aquaculture supply chain. Fish and human health drive the inspection.
The sourced water from aquifers that pumps into the 350,000-fish facility is a selling point of the farm, with water quality tests a key part of BAP land-based inspections.
Ballow, meanwhile, collects and sells all fish waste to hops farmers “due to its beneficial soil bacteria and neutral pH levels.
“The water is returned to the natural aquifer clean.”