Waitrose achieves ‘responsible sourcing’ first

Waitrose has become the first supermarket chain to ensure that all of its branded and own-label canned tuna is either Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or pole and line caught – meaning it is 100% responsibly sourced.

The retailer said the achievement is the result of working over the last year with branded tuna suppliers to improve their sustainability credentials.

All Waitrose own-label canned tuna has been pole and line caught since 2009 and MSC certified since 2013, while all the tuna in own-label ready prepared products, such as sandwiches and pâtés, is also pole and line caught.

The commitment to 100% responsible tuna coincides with the launch of a new range of MSC-certified John West canned tuna products. The ready-to-eat, ‘no drain’ cans will be available exclusively at Waitrose for six months.

Jeremy Ryland-Langley, Waitrose’s aquaculture and fisheries manager, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and we’re proud to have such a strong record in ensuring that our own-label tuna is caught in the most responsible way possible.

“When customers buy a can of own-label tuna, they know that they are always buying a product which has been responsibly sourced – and now they have the same assurance when it comes to buying a branded product.”

Total sales excluding fuel for Waitrose were down 0.1% last week (to Saturday November 25) compared with the same week last year.

Retail director Ben Stimson commented: “In the run-up to December, sales of advent calendars rose by 7% and sales of Christmas trees were up 6.5%, as shoppers started to get in the festive spirit.

“Christmas-related sweet treats were popular last week too, with sales of chocolate selection boxes up 13%, Christmas biscuits up 15% and festive bakery goods up 40%.”

Waitrose has 352 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 convenience branches and 27 shops at Welcome Break locations.

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