Sainsbury's sells UK's first sustainable tuna sandwich

Sainsbury's has become the first UK retailer to launch a certified sustainable tuna sandwich as part of the supermarket giant's on-going efforts to deliver more sustainable seafood.

The sustainable tuna is sourced from the Maldives using a low-impact pole and line technique

The sustainable tuna is sourced from the Maldives using a low-impact pole and line technique

The new sandwich range is made using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified, pole-and-line-caught fish. Its launch comes less than a year after the retailer's introduction of MSC-certified canned skipjack tuna sourced from the Maldives.

"We're always looking for ways to help our customers make sustainable choices," said Sainsbury's aquaculture & fisheries expert Ally Dingwall. "We're proud that this launch is another example of offering sustainable values along with everyday value."

The tuna is also sourced from the Maldives, using a low-impact pole and line technique, which is widely considered as a more sustainable alternative to trawling, as each fish is caught individually to reduce by catch.

Sustainability milestone

Toby Middleton, senior country manager for the MSC, said: "This is a really important move by Sainsbury's. The UK's first MSC certified tuna sandwich is a milestone for sustainable seafood.

"Tuna is a poster child for sustainable seafood and Maldivian pole and line-caught skipjack tuna was MSC certified in 2012. By choosing tuna from the Maldives tuna fishery, Sainsbury's is supporting artisanal fishermen who have made an international difference to the way the Indian Ocean fishery is managed."

The range, which launched across stores last week, is priced from £1.20. Sainsbury's has made a big play of its commitment to more sustainable fisheries in recent years, offering a raft of other MSC-certified products and launching a Switch the Fish campaign, which encourages consumers to purchase fish species that are under less pressure.

The move comes as part of Sainsbury's '20x20 Sustainability Plan'; that the fish it sells will be independently certified as sustainable by the year 2020.

Luke Nicholls


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