Pressure mounts on John West
Greenpeace campaign gains momentum as Tesco and Waitrose both threaten to drop John West
At the end of April, Greenpeace discovered destructive fishing methods were being used by a French vessel which supplies John West. This questioned John West's commitment made back in 2011 that they would phase out this unsustainable method by the end of 2016. This target seems ambitious, especially when it was revealed in October 2015 that only 2% of their tuna meets this criteria.
Greenpeace's tinned tuna league table exposed John West as the least sustainable brand on the supermarket shelf. 98% of their tuna is caught using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) which are destructive for local marine life. Additionally, a New York Times investigation 'Sea Slaves' uncovered widespread human rights violations in seafood supply chains.
Supermarkets mount pressure
Despite a widespread campaign targeting John West, the company has refused to respond or make any substantial progress. However, last week Tesco announced that they would stop stocking the tuna brand if they failed to improve by the end of the year. This announcement was followed by Waitrose who had received around 45,000 emails asking them to drop John West.
This successful email campaign was launched by Greenpeace who promote Waitrose as a sustainable #JustTuna brand. Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer have consistently topped Greenpeace's Tuna League table for their commitment to sourcing sustainable tuna.
Greenpeace has now turned its attention to Sainsbury's, pushing them to remove John West. They claim that:
"Sainsbury’s is the second biggest supermarket in the UK after Tesco - and last year they were in the top three in our Tuna League table. Unless they want to be left lagging behind in sustainability standards, they need to follow the lead of these other major UK supermarkets and clean up their shelves."
Send an email to Sainsbury's telling them to drop John West.
Read more about John West in our ethical shopping guide to Tinned Tuna.