UK food retailer Co-op has expanded its tuna sourcing policy to ensure that its private label supplies are sustainably sourced, as well as branded canned tuna.
The new policy has set a deadline for the company's suppliers of canned tuna, Princes and John West. They will have to source their fish solely from suppliers which avail of 'fisheries improvement projects', or FIPs, by the end of 2017.
The FIPs are intended as a primary measure to reduce the impact that fisheries have on the marine environment. The ultimate objective is for all supplies to merit a Marine Stewardship Council, or MSC, certification. This is currently the highest standard for the sustainable management of fish stocks.
Cathryn Higgs, head of food policy at Co-op, commented; "We’ve been a leader in sustainable tuna sourcing, but we have now extended our commitments and set out clear expectations for branded tuna suppliers, because of concern from consumers about protecting the tuna fisheries for future generations."
The producer of John West, Thai Union Group, announced in December that it will stock all of its branded tuna from certified fisheries.
The company has set a goal of 75% sustainably sourced fish for 2020 and spent $90 million on new initiatives to increase the availability of sustainable tuna.
Managing director of John West Foods Ltd, Paul Reenan, commented on Co-op's expanded policy: "We welcome the Co-op’s extended tuna commitment which mirrors that of John West, and we are pleased to confirm that all of our supply to the Co-op will meet its new sustainability commitments and deadline".
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Martha Sparrius. Click subscribe to sign-up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine