Bumble Bee Foods today announced the introduction of Wild Selections® – a new line of products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wild Selections® will support World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) efforts to protect marine life, expand sustainable fishing practices globally and help build continued awareness of the MSC-certified seafood program.
Announcing the promotion with WWF and MSC and the arrival of the new product line at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Bumble Bee President and CEO Chris Lischewski said that the company is committing thirteen cents per can, for a minimum of $1 million, to WWF from the sale of Wild Selections® products over the next five years.
The first products to be launched under Wild Selections® in 2013 will include MSC-certified albacore and lightmeat tuna. Later phases will include MSC-certified salmon, shrimp, clams and sardines.
“The introduction of Wild Selections is a natural step in the work that Bumble Bee has been involved in to support responsible global fisheries management,” Lischewski said. “As a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation working alongside WWF and other leaders in marine resource management, we saw a great opportunity to introduce a line of MSC-certified products that would help further our collective mission to promote sustainable fishing practices and to protect fisheries stocks for generations to come.”
“The introduction of the MSC-certified Wild Selections product line demonstrates Bumble Bee’s deep commitment to sustainable seafood,” said Bill Fox, vice president and managing director of fisheries at World Wildlife Fund. “This new line provides consumers the confidence that their seafood was sustainably caught as well as the opportunity to contribute to improving the health of the world’s oceans by supporting WWF’s efforts to conserve marine life and secure sustainable fisheries.”
Speaking at the Brussels announcement alongside Lischewski and Fox, MSC CEO Rupert Howes remarked, “Global seafood markets are increasingly demanding credible, independent certification and full traceability of their seafood choices. This trend is not going to go away. MSC provides that assurance, rewards sustainable fishing practices and encourages improvements in the way our oceans are fished where required. I am delighted that Bumble Bee has chosen to partner with WWF and MSC for this exciting new product launch and I wish them every success in the market.”
The Wild Selections® line will be managed outside of Bumble Bee’s core franchise and business structure and, over the next five years, a portion of sales received from the line will support WWF’s global fisheries and marine conservation efforts.
Bumble Bee's announcement is the latest in a string of similar commitments from brands and retailers to source seafood sustainably. In 2011, Target announced a commitment to sell only sustainable and traceable seafood by 2015; as part of a 2010 commitment made by Mars Petcare to use only sustainably sourced fish by 2020, sub-brand Sheba announced in March that all of its US recipes will include only responsibly sourced fish by the end of 2013. Also in March, a coalition of 30 consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups launched the Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood, through which major U.S. grocery retailers including Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have committed to not sell GE seafood if it is allowed onto the market.