As the largest branded supplier of seafood products in Australia, John West is passionate about seafood and our oceans and are committed to safeguarding their future.
Global demand for seafood has grown dramatically in the last 50 years. Within a single generation, human activity has severely damaged the ocean. Today, 3 billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. Today, about a quarter of the world’s fisheries are overfished, depleted or recovering. And half of our fisheries are at or near their sustainable limit. As of 2015, only 3.4% of the world fisheries are actually protected. As the world’s population increases, sustainable fishing practices will become more important than ever. Unless we make a change, fish stocks will be exhausted in our lifetime.
John West Australia has been working to improve the sustainability of its products for many years, and in 2011 we implemented our sustainable tuna policy. This policy sees us work closely with our partners such as WWF and suppliers to continually improve fishing practices, now and for generations to come.
One of our most significant achievements to date occurred in December 2015. John West Australia is proud to announce it has moved its entire range of purse seine caught skipjack tuna to become Marine Stewardship Council Certified (MSC) – the world’s best standard in sustainability. Now, more than ever, you can be sure when you choose John West MSC certified tuna you are making a choice that will help ensure we have healthy oceans forever.
Our Sustainable Tuna Policy
The John West Australia Sustainable Tuna Policy includes contractual measures that sees all of our suppliers source only MSC purse seine caught skipjack tuna from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and, when required, MSC pole and line from the Maldives, in recognition of the progressive conservation measures put in place by the respective region's management authorities.
John West Australia is committed to:
- sourcing seafood from well-managed fisheries and working with all our suppliers to put into practice responsible fisheries and aquaculture management strategies, recommended by WWF and respected scientific authorities
- ensuring full traceability of all our seafood products
- labelling transparency to enable our customers to make informed seafood choices
- giving social and economic support and recognition to local communities where tuna is harvested
- working alongside industry and research bodies who are developing fishing practices aimed at reducing bycatch
- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which outlines a comprehensive set of rules to govern our oceans
- be and continue to be a major advocate, supporter and signatory to the WWF WCPFC Tuna Conservation Pledge
- be and continue to be a signatory of WWF’s Global Sustainable Seafood Charter
- support the closure of the Pacific high seas pockets to purse seine fishing
- work with suppliers that operate under the ProActive Vessel Register program, which subjects them to annual independent audits and third party audits of their MSC program. In addition, there will be regular audits for MSC certified fishing vessels.
- All of John West Australia's tuna suppliers are required to meet the standards set out in the Simplot Australia supplier Code of Conduct supporting the ethical sourcing of our products. We work not only with our suppliers but also with relevant government and industry groups to help address human rights and labour risks in supply chains, and have been doing so for 5 years. Initiatives include:
- Simplot Australia, the owner of the John West Australia brand is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)
- All John West tuna suppliers have signed onto the International Labour Organisation’s Good Labour Practices Guidelines
- Simplot Australia is also a signatory to the Australian Retailer and Supplier Round Table Anti-Slavery Pledge
- Raise consumer awareness of the future our oceans face unless we make positive change
- Reducing the discard of dead and unwanted fish by having a strong catch retention policy
We will not:
- Source from overfished populations or populations where overfishing is occurring
- Source from any vessel or company that has engaged in illegal, unregulated or unreported (IUU) fishing activities
- Source from vessels listed on a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) Illegal, Unregulated or Unreported (IUU) blacklist
- Source from any vessels that offload their catch to another vessel at sea (known as transhipment)
- Source FAD caught tuna
- Source fish that is not fully traceable from catch to can
- Source from any vessels that retain parts of any captured marine animals while discarding the carcass at sea including shark finning, removal of gill-rakes from rays, and other species.
Our 2015 Goal
With the introduction of MSC certified purse seine caught skipjack tuna, John West has met and exceeded its 2015 Goal. MSC certified tuna is the world’s best standard in sustainability and we are proud to bring such high calibre sustainable choices to Australian consumers.