Bumble Bee makes USD 40 million sustainability commitment

Published on
June 16, 2020

Bumble Bee Seafood has promised a USD 40 million (EUR 35.5 million) commitment over the next five years to sustainability efforts focused on protecting and preserving the marine environment.

The San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based tuna firm has embarked on several new initiatives since it was bought by the Taiwanese company FCF Co. for USD 928 million (EUR 826 million), and after pleading guilty to a criminal charge of price-fixing.

On 15 June, the company announced the creation of a dedicated Accelerator Fund “focused on further closing the gap on some of the biggest industry challenges in the sustainability space.”

“Desired outcomes of the initiative include ensuring the abundance of tuna stocks, reducing the impact of fishing on other species, and working to remove plastics and other waste from the ocean,” the company said.

Bumble Bee ‘s Accelerator Fund will “pursue new ideas, partners, and technologies,” Bumble Bee President and CEO Jan Tharp said in a press release.

“Our sustainability journey started many years ago and we’re proud of our past accomplishments, but now is the time to accelerate our actions,” Tharp said. “It’s the right thing to do for our planet, for the billions of people who rely on seafood for sustenance, and for the long-term success of our business.”

Among these initiatives is a company commitment to source 100 percent of its light meat tuna from Marine Stewardship Council-certified fisheries, and all of its longline albacore from a credible fishery improvement project by 2023. That promise will be buttressed by the company’s continued support for its fishery improvement project focused on albacore tuna in the Indian Ocean, launched in February 2020.

Bumble Bee has also promised to eliminate the plastic shrink on its multipacks, shifting 95 percent of its packaging to recyclable products by the end of 2020, increasing to 98 percent by 2025. Additionally, Bumble Bee will continue to partner with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, including on a project in Indonesia, to develop and deploy tracking technology to find and collect lost and abandoned fishing equipment.

Also included in Bumble Bee’s listed sustainability commitments is its backing of Good Catch Foods, a plant-based food company.

“Providing alternative, sustainable ways for consumers to enjoy ocean-inspired food is a key pillar of the company’s long-term commitment to ocean health,” the company said.

Tharp said Bumble Bee will maintain a “science-based and progressive approach to sustainability.”

“Our bold goals for the future are based on our unwavering focus to restore and protect the health of our oceans,” Tharp said. “Our past efforts are inspiring the path forward, and we’re building in flexibility and accountability along the way. I am personally challenging us to be more collaborative and to continuously learn and adapt as we track our efforts. We’re all in this together.”

Photo courtesy of Bumble Bee Seafood

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