Once upon a time, well actually, three years ago, Tesco promised to help protect our oceans. Just like a knight in shining armour arriving to save the day, they suddenly switched and made the boldest public promise of all the tuna brands to clean up their tins just before we launched a tuna league table in which they were last.
It was like they’d been sprinkled with fairy dust.
With this promise, they joined the other big UK supermarkets and tuna companies in eliminating tuna from their tins which is caught in a way that also kills iconic creatures like sharks, turtles and rays. The Independent described this as one of the most successful environmental campaigns in years.
However in breaking news, tonight, Fish Fight’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will expose how Tesco has undermined its promise to protect the oceans by bringing dodgy tuna back on to supermarket shelves.
So what happened? At the same time as going 100% pole and line in its own brand in 2012, Tesco introduced a new dodgy brand called Oriental & Pacific back on to its shelves. Just like the Big Bad Wolf in disguise, Tesco has brought unsustainable tuna back – just this time under a different label.
It’s like they think consumers won’t notice. And that we’re not keeping a watchful eye over whether they are doing anything that undermines their commitments. Oh how wrong they are.
To coincide with Hugh’s programme, today we launch a new tuna league table where Tesco unsurprisingly come last out of all the supermarkets. This is not only because they are re-selling dodgy tuna again but because they continue to be the only supermarket that has no time bound commitment to go 100% sustainable in other tuna products like sandwiches, pastas and salads.
But let’s not forget about the Pied Pipers who lead the pack on sustainable tuna. This year, Morissons joins Sainsbury’s, M&S, Waitrose and the Co-op as tuna market leaders - all with 100% sustainable tuna in their tins. Go forth and buy their tuna with a happy heart.
Two of the leaders get special awards for being so good. Sainsbury’s gets Top Tuna Supermarket for being such a consistent leader. And Morrisons, in a Cinderella style transformation, is awarded a prize for being 100% Improved.
Remaining at the bottom of the league table with Oriental & Pacific, are John West and Princes. The tuna in their tins is no better than it was in 2011, and neither one can guarantee that they’ll meet their 100% commitment deadline anymore. It’s double woe for the seas.
But today we kick off our campaign with Tesco. There is no place for dodgy tuna on supermarket shelves anymore. Consumers don’t want it and the oceans can’t handle it.
And check out the final episode of Hugh’s Fish Fight on Channel 4 @ 7pm tonight.