Waitrose Celebrates 10 Years of Sustainable Private Brand Tuna

Last week marked 10 years that UK grocer Waitrose has been exclusively selling pole and line caught tuna across its canned private brand range.

The pledge, which Waitrose & Partners committed to in 2009, was made to ensure the sustainable fishing of tuna, as well as to preserve ocean biodiversity.

Despite other UK food companies making similar commitments, Waitrose remains the only dedicated supermarket retailer in the UK to exclusively source all of its canned tuna through MSC certified pole and line methods.

Melissa Tillotson, Aquaculture & Fisheries manager at Waitrose & Partners

Melissa Tillotson, Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager at Waitrose & Partners, comments: “Hooking individual tuna one by one, such as through pole and line or troll caught methods, is a highly selective way to fish, helping to minimize the risk of catching other species, including endangered turtles, dolphins and sharks.

“Waitrose & Partners has a long history of sourcing responsibly and we are committed to doing our part to preserve the biodiversity in our oceans. We strongly believe that sourcing 100% of our canned tuna through pole and line methods from MSC certified fisheries is the right thing to do.”

George Clark at the Marine Stewardship Council, comments: “Waitrose has taken great strides forward in the sustainable sourcing of seafood and is leading by example as the only current supermarket in the UK to exclusively have all its own label tinned tuna MSC certified.  

“Tuna is perhaps the biggest challenge and most underrepresented when it comes to having certified seafood options available to UK customers and, like Waitrose has, it is vital that retailers continue to reward tuna fisheries that have demonstrated sustainable practices to ensure tuna fishing progresses towards a fully sustainable basis.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.