January 26, 2017

Our new tuna sourcing policy

Today we unveiled our new tuna sourcing policy, going further with our commitment to sustainable fishing and extending these expectations to the brands we stock too.

As well as being pole and line caught, our tuna comes from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries or those part of a fisheries improvement project (FIP). We’ve extended this policy to include all branded canned tuna, meaning branded canned tuna stocked in Co-op Food has to be in a fisheries improvement project by the end of the year.

These schemes are independently checked and bring together the fishing industry, researchers and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to ensure fish stocks are sustainably managed and fisheries do not negatively impact the marine environment.

Our members and customers are rightly concerned about fish stocks and the methods used to catch fish. We’ve been a leader in sustainable tuna sourcing but have now extended our commitments.

We are also setting out clear expectations for branded tuna suppliers because of concern from our customers and members about protecting tuna fisheries for future generations.

We’re not alone, our key branded tuna suppliers had this to say:

“Achieving long-term tuna sustainability is an ongoing priority for our business. Since July 2016, we’ve had a public commitment to sourcing our tuna from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) with the objective of MSC certification.”

Ruth Simpson
Princes Corporate Relations Director

“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. Through our investment in Fishery Improvement Projects, which aims to bring fisheries up to the standard required for MSC certification, we are focused on increasing the supply of sustainable tuna for retailers and consumer alike.”

Paul Reenan
Managing Director of John West Foods Ltd

You can find out more about our approach to responsible fishing at our website.

Cathryn Higgs
Head of Food Policy

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Fine, but why can’t I buy free range chicken (let alone organic) in my local Coop? Chicken is a major stock item, much more is sold than tuna. When I ask at the store the staff do not know (Fiveways, Brighton); when I ask online I am told it is available (it is not) and my further response to that effect is not replied to. Ditto, organic butter and free range pork products. A simple adjustment to this store’s order/deliveries is all that is needed.

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  2. I note that JW say “all of our supply to the Co-op will meet its new sustainability commitments and deadline” Presumably they will continue to supply non-sustainable tuna elsewhere. Bad show Co-op.

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    • Hi Gillie, this move to extend the expectation we have of our own product to the brands we stock is a leading one within our sector. There’s always more to do, but I don’t agree that’s it’s fair to categorise our efforts as poor at all. ^Jordan

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  3. Fiveways Brighton. Postal address 269 Preston Drove.

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Food, Food Policy