A while ago I contributed this line “It’s the fish John West reject that makes John West the worst” to the Greenpeace campaign to get John West to sharpen up their sustainability act.
Now here’s some good news on the CSR front. Most people know the bluefin tuna has been over-fished. As a result, this has become a key matter of CSR (corporate social responsibility) for companies dealing with seafood. Greenpeace has been a long-term critic of John West for its suppliers' use of purse seines, a particularly destructive fishing method. They were just about the last major company to resist committing to a more sustainable method of harvesting tuna, but they were also responsible for this cute ad where a bloke fights a bear for a salmon - "ooh look, an eagle!". All square?
The two former adversaries have now tentatively joined hands to kick off a new sustainability program. A few days ago (July 29th), the company announced a staged programme to source 100% of tuna sold in the UK by 2016 using properly audited pole and line techniques, as well as to source from fleets that pledge not to use fish aggregating devices (FADs). FADS usually mean that a whole of other fish get caught at the same time and discarded, the prevention of which (discards) is the main thrust of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's magnificent Fish Fight. John West was one of the last of the major brands to come round to see sense. Princes did the decent thing back in March.The "see food diet" - I see food and I eat it - was on track to mean nothing to future generations (what was seafood, Granpa?) but there is hope out there if people continue to pressure corporations and governments