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MWBrands Celebrates One Year Partnership With Environmentalists Italy, March 20, 13

According to a MW brands press release the first year of the 3-year collaboration between its Italian company, Mareblu, and the country’s environmental association Legambiente has produced the expected results: the marketing of a new 100% sustainable Mareblu tuna, making use of specialized on-board observers to avoid by-catch, working towards the progressive reduction of the use of FADs, and creating a constructive dialogue with NGO’s.

The need to ensure the responsible procurement of raw materials for their production, in the face of a worldwide threatened marine eco-system, was the impetus for Mareblu to take the lead in 2012 within the Italian market with a structured sustainability policy.

Legambiente, the most influential environmental organization in Italy, after checking the existence of the essential prerequisites for the start of the collaboration, has signed an agreement with Mareblu. The target is to achieve important objectives in sustainable tuna fisheries by initiating environmental projects. Mareblu has developed a model of corporate governance that ensures transparency towards the market and an effective system of internal control of production processes. These are based on parameters that are not only technical but also socio-environmental.

“It’s a common path that is going very well”, said Rossella Muroni, General Manager of Legambiente about the cooperation between Legambiente and Mareblu, which is oriented to support concrete actions for change. “It’s not often that such a big company wants to get involved, accepting the challenges that come from the home market and stakeholders, to undertake the necessary steps to become more sustainable.”

It’s the first time in Italy that Legambiente partners with a major seafood brand in the monitoring of the production process as a strategic factor for the achievement of full social responsibility.

“It’s been a year of intense and fruitful collaboration,” said Adolfo Valsecchi, President and CEO of Mareblu MWBrands. “This encourages us to face the next targets. We are proud to have a proactive partner such as as Legambiente on our side, assisting us to chart a course which is important for our industry and will continue to support us in the new challenges to come; firstly through collaboration with retailers to search for mutually beneficial solutions, such as the reduction of by-catches.”

In terms of transparency and consumer protection, MWBrands has regulated the complete traceability of its integrated supply chain, which allows a thorough inspection and verification of all phases involved in the making of each can: type and kind of product, place and method of fishing, ID code of the boat that made the fishing trip, plant, batch, indicating the number of direct controls carried out at all stages of production and the expiry date. Mareblu’s policy regarding the supply of raw material ensures only legal registered fishing vessels; strict compliance with the quotas allocated to each establishment; respect of fishing bans (e.g. in the areas of reproduction); compliance with bans and moratoria (e.g. during the reproduction period); compliance with the minimum fish size and full utilization of the by-catch.
By the end of 2016 Mareblu is also committed to sell 100% of its products with raw material obtained by the fishing methods Pole & Line and seiners without the use of FADS.
Also this year, the supply will come from vessels monitored by the constant presence of qualified observers on board, which will retain 100% of the catch, to enable measuring the quantity and verify their composition. A further commitment on catches envisages a gradual reduction through programmed improvement targets which are monitored and evaluated from year to year.
Mareblu is the third canned fish brand in the Italian market, and a group company of MWBrands, the multinational European leader in canned fish with four processing plants (France, Portugal, Ghana and Seychelles Islands) and owner of nine vessel. The Group has five business units: France (Petit Navire), United Kingdom (John West Foods, Liverpool), Ireland (John West Foods ISI, Dublin), The Netherlands (John West Foods, Utrecht) and Italy (Mareblu, Milan).

MWBrands says it is organized according to a vertically integrated business model, which provides direct control over all stages of production at all of the canning factories owned. The number of employees of the Group amounts to 5,500 units. The turnover of the MWBrands Group in 2012 reached Euro 601.9 million.