Greenpeace accuses John West of violating tuna pledge

Published on
October 8, 2015

Accusations have been lobbed against John West alleging that the U.K. tuna brand has been utilizing destructive fishing methods to obtain its tuna when it had promised consumers otherwise.

Environmental group Greenpeace ranked John West last in its latest League Table report, saying that just 2 percent of the company’s tuna is considered sustainable. According to Greenpeace, the company has been employing fishing gear and techniques that catch sharks and endanger turtles and other creatures. The NGO also called out John West’s owner, Thai Union Group (TU), for its alleged link to human rights abuses in its seafood supply chains. This comes on the heels of a recent campaign launched by Greenpeace targeting TU specifically, “urging that the producer take the necessary steps in ridding its supply chains of labor abuse and wasteful fishing practices.”

In response to its ranking, John West said it was “firmly committed” to a pledge it made back in 2011 to produce 100 percent sustainable tuna by 2016, according to The Guardian.

“We believe our commitments are best achieved by employing a number of practices and innovations all of which will work together to minimize bycatch, protect stock levels, preserve oceans, improve working conditions and ensure safe and legal practices throughout every aspect of our operations,” John West confirmed in a statement.

“The tide is turning on companies which sell unsustainable tuna and unless John West keeps its promise to UK consumers to stop using destructive fishing methods, it will find itself cast adrift,” offered Ariana Densham, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, to The Guardian in response to John West.

Other UK tuna companies should follow the lead of Waitrose, which uses 100 percent sustainable tuna in its products, Greenpeace suggested. The NGO also gave high marks to canned tuna products from Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

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