Southeast Asia’s major canneries fall short on sustainability and social responsibility issues

Press release - November 17, 2016
Manila/Jakarta, 17 November 2016-- A new report released today by Greenpeace Southeast Asia revealed how major tuna canneries in the Philippines and Indonesia continue to fall short in providing customers with sustainably and equitably sourced tuna. The report, “From Sea to Can: 2016 Southeast Asia Canned Tuna Ranking” examines the region’s tuna canneries and the integrity of their supply chains using a 7-point criteria, that sets a score of 70 as the minimum needed for the sustainability and viability of the industry.

“The report demonstrates that these major canneries are still not doing enough to rid their supply chains of destructive fishing and human rights abuses,” said Sumardi Ariansyah, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Indonesia.

Tuna stocks face intense and increasing global pressure. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List (2016) listed Thunnus alalunga (albacore) and T. albacares (yellowfin) as “Near Threatened”, and T. obesus (bigeye)as “Vulnerable” [1].  Despite this, the Greenpeace report noted that most of the companies listed are still catching one or more of these species of tuna. 

Last year, Greenpeace initiated a tuna cannery ranking of the region’s major canneries in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines [2]. These Southeast Asian countries are among the leading suppliers of canned / prepared tuna to the international market, with combined exports totaling USD 6 billion in 2015 [3].

More than two-thirds of the region’s largest tuna canneries and brands participated in this years survey.   Greenpeace tightened the burden of proof, particularly since labor abuses and destructive practices-- like the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs)-- remain widespread.

“It is alarming that 15 of the regional canneries surveyed said they source almost 100% of their tunas from purse seiners,” added Ariansyah. “This means almost all canneries are not even considering their environmental impact because purse seiners use FADs that catch more juvenile yellowfin and bigeye tunas and other bycatch like sharks. The use of FADs is out of control,” Sumardi added.

In Indonesia, the top cannery performers are: International Alliance Foods Indonesia (68.88, Fair), Deho Canning Co. & Citra Raja Ampat Canning (62.15, Fair) and Samudra Mandiri Sentosa (58.59, Fair).

For the Philippines, the latest tuna cannery ranking showed a very disturbing trend among local canneries that seemed unwilling to divulge information on whether the tuna inside their cans were sustainably, legally, and equitably caught. The top performing canneries are: Ocean Canning Corp. (51.46, Fair), Celebes Canning (44.63, Fair) and Century Pacific Food, Inc. (44.09, Fair).

“Philippine canneries need to step up,” said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia- Philippines. “If canneries want to maintain their international market standing, they should comply with strict industry standards and do away with double standard practices, especially when disclosing public information only to a particular consumer market.”

Comparing last year’s assessment with this year’s results, Greenpeace recognizes the meaningful improvement of many of the profiled companies [4] . Overall, however, the results are still far from what is necessary to protect our oceans and workers.

Greenpeace is urging tuna brands and processors to favor and source tuna that has been caught using more responsible methods, such as pole and line, handline, or FAD-free purse seine. The group strongly recommends that all canneries in Southeast Asia establish a publicly-accessible traceability system that provides better information for consumers, on or before 2020- this should include information about the origin of tuna, where and when it was caught, by which vessel, and when and where it was landed and processed.


Notes to the Editor:

[1] IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. <>. Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
[2] 2015 Tuna Cannery Report
[3] Explore here:
[4] Canned Tuna Ranking 2016 here:


Media Contacts:

Sumardi Ariansyah, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Mobile: +62 812 9844 6282

Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines, Mobile: +63 917 861 3689

Ephraim Batungbacal, Regional Oceans Research Coordinator, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Mobile: +63 917 866 3036

Therese Salvador, Media Relations Coordinator, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Mobile: +63 917 8228734