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Waitrose Switches Full Private Label Tuna Range To MSC

UK retailer Waitrose is transforming its entire private-label canned tuna range with the sustainable MSC eco-label, making it the first major supermarket to switch its own brand completely. The sustainable skipjack tuna will be sourced from the Maldives’ pole-and-line fishery, which received its MSC certification in November 2012.


Waitrose sells about three million tuna cans under its own brand each year. The chain will add the signature blue-and-white logo to the first cans at the beginning of March and all of its own label tuna cans will feature the MSC label by the first week of April.
The MSC eco-label is easily recognized by consumers and guarantees the product can be traced back to a sustainable fishery. The Maldivian fishermen, for instance, target one fish at a time using the pole-and-line method, which poses little risk to by-catch or non-target species.
MSC-certified canned skipjack tuna will soon be more widely available to consumers around the world, as other major retailers in Europe, Australia and South Africa are planning to offer Pacifical tuna under their private label brands. Pacifical tuna is sourced from the MSC-certified skipjack free school purse seine fishery, located in the waters of eight Pacific island countries, known as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). 
The PNA’s fishery is sustainable because it does not use fish-aggregating devices (FADs), which yield high rates of by-catch, and instead only targets free swimming schools of mature skipjack tuna.