GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Meijer Seafood Buying Team, which travels the world seeking the freshest and most sustainably caught seafood, recently took time off from their duties to plant 760 mangrove trees during a visit to the Phetchaburi province of Thailand. The team participated in the half-day Mangrove reforestation activity in an effort to honor and give back to the local community.
“We travel the world to find the best products for our customers,” said David Wier, Seafood Buyer for Meijer. “We wanted to share the Meijer culture of doing something good in the communities where we do business. When our local partner brought the opportunity to plant Mangrove trees to us, we got excited because it sounded unique and meaningful to the region.”
Wier worked with contacts at Chicken of the Sea, a division of Thai Union Foods that supplies frozen shrimp to Meijer. Thai Union’s Sustainable Development team helped connect the Meijer Seafood buyers to the Mangrove tree reforestation activity.
In recent years, Thailand’s government and environmental groups have made serious efforts to restore the mangrove forest ecosystem. Mangroves impact coastal ecosystems and communities in Thailand by protecting its shorelines.
Wier, along with Meijer Team Members Scott Helder, Casey Keil and Tammie McBain, as well as Henry DeLaLlana and Michael Richards from Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, planted new trees in the Mangrove Forest Development Station 6, located in the northeastern part of Phetchaburi province of western Thailand. The conditions were far from ideal. The temperature that day reached 90o F, and the activity required the team to walk and drop plants in hot and sticky mud, almost knee-deep. By the end of the half-day activity, the team planted 760 new trees.
“We’ve made numerous supplier visits, and this was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences I’ve had,” said Casey Keil, Meijer Sourcing Manager for Fresh Seafood. “We have the privilege of making a small impact in the communities we visit. We will never take that for granted.”
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 235 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.