2012 Canned Tuna Ranking

Page - March 26, 2012
Tuna brands play a key role in the overfishing crisis by selling us unsustainable tuna. It's time every brand takes responsibility.

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Rating - GOOD
Rating - Must Improve
Rating - VERY POOR

9. Clover Leaf - 48%

Clover Leaf

As Clover Leaf works hard to project a green public image, its cans still contain Redlisted tuna. Canada’s largest canned tuna brand focuses on its International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) membership, with less time allocated to setting clear plans or timelines to change the content of its cans. Will Clover Leaf can the green talk and focus on green action in 2012? Or will this major market player sink to the bottom of the ranking as its competitors make all the moves for healthier oceans?

  • Clover Leaf 's sustainable sourcing policy has a strong focus on improving the traceability of its products. The policy and the company’s initiatives are outlined on its website for its customers.
  • Clover Leaf sells Redlisted yellowfin tuna and has no plans to discontinue it.
  • Clover Leaf sources from purse seine fisheries using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and longlines that take a toll on other marine species and vulnerable tuna stocks.
  • Clover Leaf canned tuna product labels do not indicate the fishing method or area of catch for the species.
  • Clover Leaf has not made a commitment to ensure its tuna is equitable.

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A tuna ranking overview

To obtain information about the brands selected for this ranking, Greenpeace contacted the companies and requested that they fill out a questionnaire about their tuna procurement. Greenpeace then created a profile for each company and supplemented survey information with company correspondence, publicly available information from websites and publications, and information obtained by Greenpeace volunteers engaging in spot checks of their local supermarkets. Greenpeace then sent the companies their profiles for review.

Greenpeace graded the companies based on five key areas:

  • Commitment to sustainable and equitable seafood
    Is there a sustainability policy in place? Is it implemented? Is its implementation monitored? Is it publicly available?
  • Excluding unsustainable tuna
    Does the policy have clear criteria for tuna sourcing? Are they being followed? Do the criteria ensure tuna from unhealthy stocks or destructive fisheries are not sourced?
  • Tracing tuna to its source
    Can the company trace its tuna from ship to can to shelf? Does it know key information about the fishing operations?
  • Promoting marine reserves and equitable fishing
    Does the company support domestic, coastal fisheries? If not, does it ensure fair access agreements? Does it keep its fleets out of proposed marine reserve areas and support their creation? Does it push political leaders to create marine reserves?
  • Comprehensive and clear labelling
    Does the label of a brand provide key information about where and how the tuna was caught? Does the label help consumers make more-informed decisions?

To get full marks, a company needs to walk the talk and be pushing its suppliers and fisheries managers to do the same.