Four years of extraordinary teamwork came to fruition in February 2016, when Australia's largest branded seafood supplier – John West – made an amazing announcement.
By moving to a sustainable skipjack tuna supplier in the West Central Pacific, more than 40% of the branded canned tuna sold each year in Australia would be Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable and bear the MSC eco-label. That's over 100 million cans!
The achievement is a testimony to the sustainability commitment of John West Australia (owned by parent company, Simplot), and their partnership with WWF.
And it's not over yet. John West Australia is now working to migrate other branded products to MSC and ASC certified sustainable sources. Now that's some haul.
John West Australia is a signatory to the WWF Global Sustainable Seafood Charter.
The move to source MSC-certified sustainable skipjack tuna, launched to consumers in February 2016, followed months of behind-the-scenes supply chain audits, sustainability improvements and a program of rolling implementations.
John West Australia has now committed to broadening its collaboration with WWF to raise the sustainability bar even higher across their product range. And the company is committed to raising over $1 million for WWF ocean conservation projects to protect ocean health well into the future – projects in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to improve the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities.
The Bottom Line
One company has changed the dynamics of the canned tuna industry in Australia.
With over 40% of canned tuna sold in Australia bearing the MSC ecolabel, shoppers find it much easier to pick a sustainable tuna product they can trust.
Over time, it is hoped that sustainability will become a given in the minds of consumers, backed by the credibility of the MSC ecolabel.
In addition, with sustainable practices that ensure fish stocks, plus a long-term buyer for their product, the fishery provides towns and villages across eight Pacific Island nations with a secure economic future.
PROJECTS SUPPORTED BY JOHN WEST