Sustainability or Stalling?

Page - June 1, 2011
Clover Leaf takes the approach to sustainability — “fish them to save them” — to work to improve fisheries and protect tuna for the future. Instead, this approach has gotten us to where we are today. Greenpeace believes that Clover Leaf needs to stop sourcing from destructive fisheries, stop waiting for research to prove what we already know about a need to switch to more sustainable fishing methods, start sourcing equitable tuna and ensure ocean protection to allow for tuna recovery. Clover Leaf’s take on sustainability is a bit different, so we’ve provided some constructive feedback on their sustainability statement below.

Clover Leaf: “At Clover Leaf, sustainability is a part of our mission of ‘Improving Canadian quality of life by providing sustainable, nutritious, convenient and affordable seafood products.’”

Greenpeace: Clover Leaf sells products that result in the killing of declining tuna stocks and other marine species, some of which are at risk. This is not sustainability. This doesn’t improve products for Canadians and doesn’t improve the lives of people living beside the waters where Clover Leaf tuna comes from.

Clover Leaf: “We led our industry with the implementation of a corporate initiative aimed at ensuring the seafood we provide to our fellow Canadians is sourced from stocks that are harvested and managed in a manner which ensures that they can continue to supply seafood for future generations.”

Greenpeace: Unfortunately, Clover Leaf will continue to lead the decline in tuna unless it soon switches to more sustainable tuna supplies. Continuing to sell tuna fished at current rates will leave nothing for future generations but empty waters and empty cans.

Clover Leaf: “While sustainable fisheries is core to our program, our corporate sustainability and responsibility program reaches beyond fisheries and across our business encompassing our operations, packaging, supply chain, consumers, communities and our employees. These efforts are led by a Director of Sustainability and a Sustainability Committee that includes our Chief Executive Officer and senior leadership from cross functional areas within our company.”

Greenpeace: A solid aspiration but most links in that chain of alleged sustainability have been neglected to date.

Clover Leaf: “While we are closer to the beginning than to the end of our efforts in sustainability, we are proud of our efforts to date and invite you to learn more about our work. We are committed, and confident, that we can affect change that will preserve precious resources for generations to come.”

Greenpeace: Clover Leaf could affect change. We urge the company to take immediate steps to not just talk about greening its tuna, but to actually do it.

In February 2011, Greenpeace released a sustainability ranking of 14 major canned tuna brands sold in Canadian supermarkets. Clover Leaf came out 11th. The company’s competitors are starting to ensure a future for their products; Clover Leaf is content to rely on the luck of the four-leaf clover to keep the tuna coming.

To find out how the other tuna brands ranked in Greenpeace’s tuna brand ranking click here.