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FROM September 2011, John West will roll out a new range of pole and line sourced tuna products following a sustained campaign from environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace

The introduction of the new range is a significant investment for John West, one of the UK’s leading canned seafood manufacturers, which places sustainable fishing at the heart of its business around realistic, achievable targets.

The new pole and line range will be available on shelf in a number of leading retailers in the UK from September onwards with cans carrying a specific pole and line logo to differentiate the catch method.  The initial John West pole and line range will comprise of 185g Tuna Chunks (MRRP £1.59) and 3x80g Tuna Chunks (MRRP £2.09). Both packs will be available in Brine, Sunflower Oil and Springwater.

Paul Reenan, Managing Director, John West, said: “Providing the UK consumer with this branded choice of pole and line caught tuna forms one important part of our wider sustainability and traceability agenda.”

Currently, all John West products display detailed information to guarantee the very highest standards of traceability, including the species and the ocean where it was caught. 

The introduction of a John West branded pole and line range forms part of a staged sustainable sourcing tuna programme which has been developed in consultation with Greenpeace and a wide range of industry experts.

The range will deliver upon John West’s commitment to source 25 per cent of its UK sales of tuna by pole and line by the end of 2012. This will increase to 50 per cent by the end of 2014 and by the end of 2016, 100 per cent of John West’s UK sales of tuna will be sourced by a mixture of pole and line and / or purse seine “FAD-free” (fish aggregation devices) sustainable catch methods.

John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said: “These welcome commitments from John West complete the ground-breaking shifts seen in the UK since Greenpeace's tinned tuna campaign launched in January. The rapid launch of a new John West pole and line tuna range sets the bar for the rest of the UK's supermarkets and tuna brands who have newly committed to deliver sustainable tuna. Historic changes have taken place in the UK, the world's second largest consumer of tuna. The time is ripe for companies worldwide to deliver sustainable tuna in a way that protects tuna stocks and our oceans.”

“This is great news for sharks and other marine life,” said Sauven continued. “Just a few months ago, only a minority of tinned tuna retailers had cleaned up their act, but in a short amount of time there’s been a groundbreaking shift across the tinned tuna industry.”

All of the major supermarkets and tuna brands in the UK have also given their backing to the creation of marine reserves in the Pacific, and have promised not to buy tuna from the area known as the Pacific Commons.

The shift by John West makes the UK the world’s most sustainable tinned tuna market. The shift to greener tinned tuna is expected to have a huge effect around the world, as the UK is the world’s second largest consumer of tinned tuna and many of the companies involved, such as Princes, who are owned by Mitsubishi, and Asda, who are owned by Walmart, are part of global corporate giants. Over the coming months Greenpeace says it will maintain pressure on John West owner MW Brands to apply its new UK policy to the tinned tuna it sells in other countries.

“This move is hugely important beyond the UK too, because it means that changes will have to happen at sea. We should now start to see a real shift towards greener tinned tuna around the world in the very near future,” added Sauven. “Marine reserves in the Pacific Commons would provide much needed protection for fish stocks, the oceans and the millions of people dependent on them for food and jobs.”

The moves follow a campaign launched by Greenpeace UK but now rolling out internationally focusing on further tinned tuna brands. In the last few weeks new Greenpeace campaigns encouraging businesses to abandon FADs and support the Pacific Commons marine reserves have launched in Canada and New Zealand, taking on major brands Clover Leaf and Sealord respectively, with further expansion of the campaign planned over the coming months.

John West today also announced a significant investment in a new brand re-launch that will see the brand back on TV in the autumn. John West today also announced the launch of a range of salmon, mackerel and sardines, which will carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo further demonstrating John West’s interest to source these species from MSC certified fisheries.

This brand investment combined with the latest tuna commitment will ensure that John West achieves its ambition in leading the way in both the canned seafood category and on the sustainability and traceability agenda.

The launch of John West’s sustainable tuna sourcing programme is one part of a wider mix of sustainable initiatives which include respecting marine reserves and full compliance with the EU illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) regulation. More detail can be found at

Greenpeace is campaigning globally for fishing industry reform and for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans, necessary steps to creating healthy, living oceans for future generations.

Oil Price

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