Bumble Bee Seafood accelerates sustainability efforts with US$40m commitment

USA – North American seafood producer, The Bumble Bee Seafood Company, has made a commitment to invest US$40 million over the next five years toward efforts that will further restore and protect the health of the world’s oceans.

The company has created a dedicated Accelerator Fund focused on further closing the gap on some of the biggest industry challenges in the sustainability space.

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Through the initiative, Bumble Bee said that it will contribute towards ensuring the abundance of tuna stocks, reducing the impact of fishing on other species and working to remove plastics and other waste from the ocean.

“Our sustainability journey started many years ago and we’re proud of our past accomplishments, but now is the time to accelerate our actions,” said Jan Tharp, President and CEO of the Bumble Bee Seafood Company.

“It’s the right thing to do for our planet, for the billions of people who rely on seafood for sustenance and for the long-term success of our business.”

Tharp said the company will use the Accelerator Fund to pursue new ideas, partners and technologies, while also continuing to advance several current initiatives making a significant impact.

As part of the initiative, the company said that it will be further expanding its Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere. Bumble Bee recently partnered with FCF Fishery Company and Ocean Outcomes to launch a first of its kind in the region longline albacore FIP in the Indian Ocean.

The seafood company says that this work is designed to move the fishery towards the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard that ensures the abundance of the target albacore stock, mitigates the impact of fishing on other species, and certifies the fishery is monitored and well-managed.

By 2022, Bumble Bee plans to source 100% of its light meat tuna from MSC-certified fisheries, and by 2023 all longline albacore will come from a credible FIP.

To accelerate its action towards a sustainable seafood industry, the company is also making strides into the plant-based food segment to provide alternative and sustainable ways for consumers to enjoy ocean-inspired food.

Bumble Bee noted that this is a key pillar of the company’s long-term commitment to ocean health.  Earlier this year, the company became the first and only major seafood company to enter into the plant-based protein sector via a joint distribution venture with Good Catch Foods.

The company has also expanded its sustainability efforts to Indonesia. Bumble Bee recently extended its partnership with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to include a project in Indonesia to develop and deploy ocean-safe tracking mechanisms to find and collect lost and abandoned fishing equipment.

The new project in Indonesia also reinforces its 2019 traceability efforts by partnering with SAP to utilize SAP’s Cloud Platform Blockchain to trace the journey of Bumble Bee’s Natural Blue by Anova yellowfin tuna from the country.

The company said that it is also planning to eliminate the plastic shrink on its multipacks through continued innovation, making its overall packaging nearly 95% recyclable in 2020 and expanding to 98% by 2025.

“Our bold goals for the future are based on our unwavering focus to restore and protect the health of our oceans,” added Tharp. “Our past efforts are inspiring the path forward, and we’re building in flexibility and accountability along the way.

“I am personally challenging us to be more collaborative and to continuously learn and adapt as we track our efforts. We’re all in this together.”

To commemorate this announcement, Bumble Bee is partnering with World Oceans Day, a global ocean conservation collaborative designed to raise awareness and encourage action to restore and protect the world’s ocean.

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