SeaChange at John West
At John West, we’ve been selling fish for over 150 years and we plan to carry on doing the same forever. That’s why we’re committed to sustainable fishing, making sure our oceans can be home to fish for future generations to enjoy. ‘SeaChange®’ refers to Thai Union’s (our parent company) approach to sustainability. SeaChange® is designed to deliver real and lasting change in the way we operate, lead and influence.
Click here to find out more about Thai Union’s SeaChange strategy®.
Our sustainability programmes
SAFE & LEGAL LABOUR
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES
OUR OPERATING PRINCIPLES
Robust leadership, policies and processes ensure our business is focused on delivering our sustainability objectives and is
ethical across all our operations.
We will remain transparent in all communications with stakeholders, customers and the industry, sharing our learnings and providing regular updates on our progress.
We have and will continue to actively seek out NGOs, governments and industry partners to work with us on initiatives designed to deliver against our overarching objectives.
Our SeaChange sustainability strategy will deliver against the Sustainable Development Goals. We have focused on three of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to broader societal change in the areas where we can have direct influence.
Providing safe, legal and freely-chosen employment in our facilities and supply chain is critically important to us and our parent company, Thai Union.
Our suppliers are required to sign up to our Business Ethics and Labour Code of Conduct, Vessel Improvement Program and Code of Conduct, all of which aim to provide clear guidance on our standards and to maintain ethical policies and practices.
Meanwhile, Thai Union operates a zero recruitment fees policy, especially when recruiting migrant workers for our factories, and works with partners such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to combat labour abuse on land and at sea. Thai Union’s Ethical Migrant Recruitment Policy was recognised by independent evaluator Impact as a “landmark in improving migrant recruitment.”
To find out more about how we support safe and legal labour throughout our supply chain click here.
The bottom of every can of our tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines has a number on it, which can be used to find the type of species in your can and the ocean it was caught from – you can even trace the fish back to the boat that made the catch. All you need to do is enter the number into the John West can tracker.
In 2019 our parent company, Thai Union, released its first European Sourcing Transparency: Wild Caught Fish and Shellfish report, in partnership with WWF. The report represented the data from the sustainability assessment process we underwent with WWF on our supply chains, and is a key part of Thai Union’s commitment to transparency in its operations. You can see the report here.
As a processor and importer, we don’t own or operate any fishing vessels, but we are committed to sourcing responsibly so that the seas are sustainable for now and for future generations. Through the Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) that we are involved with, if a need is identified for the fishery to reduce the level of bycatch, then our suppliers can work with partners on solutions. You can find out more about our approach to responsible sourcing here.
If you’re interested in following the work of FIPs, we’d recommend signing up to FisheryProgress.org, here. This lets you track the progress of any FIP (not just those that we are involved in) and gives you full access to all the information that is published about a FIP. To read more about the FIPs that Thai Union is participating in, search for Thai Union as a ‘participant’ under the FIP Directory on FisheryProgress.org.
As a processor and importer, we don’t own or operate any fishing vessels, but we are committed to sourcing responsibly so that the seas are sustainable for now and for future generations. In order to deliver towards this commitment, our parent company, Thai Union, has worked since 2014 to set up Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
FIPs aim to improve performance in the fishery and deliver certification to the MSC certification which measures sustainability. These projects unite seafood processors, fishing vessel operators, NGOs and governments to identify environmental challenges, develop detailed effective action plans and collaborate on implementation. Plans may include changes in policy, implementing harvest controls or changing fishing techniques. To find out more about FIPs, check out this video.
When we worked with WWF between 2014-2018, we evaluated the sustainability of our wild caught seafood in Europe. The results were made public through Thai Union’s inaugural European ‘Sourcing Transparency Report’.
We recognise that traceability is the backbone of sustainability. With traceability in place, we can track every product – from catch to consumption. We’re active members of the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (find out more about that here), and we’ve helped pioneer technological solutions to traceability in the seafood industry. Check out Thai Union’s innovative work here.
You can see the results of our commitment to traceability through the Can Tracker, which lets you track your product back to the vessel that caught it.
For further information on our sustainable sourcing strategy, check out Thai Union’s SeaChange® site.
As a processor and importer, neither John West or our parent company, Thai Union, owns or operates any fishing vessels, rather we source our seafood from fisheries all over the world. These fisheries use a range of different fishing methods, including methods known as pole and line and purse seine. We believe seafood sustainability means fisheries operating in line with best practice so that they adhere to environmental and social standards – from catch to consumption. Thai Union understands that there are advantages and disadvantages to different fishing methods and is committed to supporting fisheries to improve to achieve best practice.
In recognition of our responsible sourcing, John West has been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council ‘UK Canned Brand of the Year’ for the last three years. Meanwhile, Thai Union is the highest rated food products company on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the world’s leading seafood business on the Seafood Stewardship Index. You can find out more about our work here.
Learn more about how we source responsibly here.
We’re committed to ensuring that 100% of our packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and review the materials used in our products as innovative, more sustainable options become available.
Through our parent company, Thai Union, we have a number of initiatives in place to reduce ocean plastics and marine debris, like our membership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). We support them to tackle issues related to lost or abandoned fishing gear. Find out more here
The sustainability challenges facing the global seafood industry are complex, and we’re on a sustainability journey to drive positive change. Our parent company, Thai Union, reports on our progress in our annual Sustainability Report, as well as on the dedicated SeaChange® website (seachangesustainability.org/). You can see our latest report here.
Our current goals are set to the end of 2020, then we’ll report our progress and set out commitments for 2025. Read about Thai Union’s sustainability strategy, SeaChange®, here