Subway joins campaign for more sustainably sourced skipjack

Published on
November 29, 2016

Popular international restaurant chain Subway has been inducted as the newest member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), making comitting it to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.

A multibillion dollar enterprise, Subway got its start back in 1965 in Connecticut, U.S.A., specializing in sandwiches and salads. Today, there are 44,600 Subway outlets in 112 countries around the world, including 26,880 outlets in the United States, which reinforces the business’s status as the largest fast food chain, a distinction it first received in 2010.

The only seafood Subway includes on its menu is tuna; it serves skipjack sourced from fisheries with non-threatened stock levels. By becoming the IPNLF’s 40th member, the company continues to show its on-going support for improved social and environmental responsibility in its supply chains, particularly when it comes to bycatch; Subway is concerned by the levels of bycatch associated with purse seine nets, said the IPNLF, and will continue to support efforts to reduce or eliminate it.

Furthermore, Subway plans to continue with its responsible sourcing practices, intending to only source tuna approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or equivalent certified fisheries in the longer term. The restaurant is currently working with MSC and others to establish a commercially feasible transition plan to using more sustainable tuna.

“We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and creating a positive influence in the communities we work with. Joining the International Pole & Line Foundation helps to contribute to this cause by supporting our customer promise to supply high-quality food that is also environmentally and socially responsibly sourced, in this case tuna – one the world’s favorite seafood products. We believe that using good, environmentally sound business practices helps increase our franchisees’ profitability, they improve our customers’ dining experiences and they also help protect the planet,” said Elizabeth Stewart, director of corporate social responsibility for Subway, in a news release.

“It is fantastic to have such a big player in the international market on board with our work,” added Martine Purves, Managing Director of IPNLF. “As an international NGO working to develop and demonstrate the value of one-by-one tuna fisheries to coastal communities, IPNLF is particularly thrilled to have a company of SUBWAY’s caliber and magnitude working alongside us. We are a hub for sustainably-minded organizations like SUBWAY who, through their commitment to responsible sourcing and best-practice in the supply chain, want to see one-by-one tuna fisheries play a growing role in their supply chain going forward.”

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