Today, in my inbox, was a letter from Whiskas parent group, Mars, gleefully telling us Greenpeace folk how committed they were to sustainability, saving the oceans, and other such buzzwords. The tone of the letter suggests a smug grin that would make the Cheshire Cat jealous. It goes on to tell us how they are, like, so committed, that they will be working with the Marine Stewardship Council and by the end of 2010 the MSC logo will be adorning fishy-flavoured packs of Whiskas and Sheba catfood.
This, they tell us, will 'offer consumers a choice of sustainable petfood products for the first time'.
Wow. Impressive stuff, huh? In this article in the Guardian they elucidate a bit more about what’s prompted the move. Mark Johnston, Managing Director of Mars Petcare UK , says: “The End of the Line film has had a big impact, we are now the first pet company to make a commitment to sustainable fish, and we hope that will act as a catalyst for the whole industry."
Cat lovers will be by now purring with glee at this amazing development. And I’m sure that Charles Clover will be delighted his film has reached as far as the petfood aisles too.
So it is with a quizzical eyebrow that I direct you to a somewhat odd link to some new Whiskas product. Given that the End Of The Line has had such a big impact, you’d think, nay hope, that someone at Whiskas HQ had bothered to watch it. If they had, I rather doubt they’d think BLUEFIN TUNA FLAVOURED CATFOOD was a very smart move.
With this advert even offering a buy-one-get-one-free endangered species:
A new catfood flavour featuring a species that has become synonymous with overfishing and imminent extinction, now available in a handy sachet. Made with genuine ‘natural blue fin tuna flavor’[sic]. Whatever that is.
I mean, seriously. Endangered species flavour petfood? What’s next for Tiddles’ din-dins? ‘Roast Tiger flavour’? ‘Grilled Gorilla’? Or maybe ‘Limited Edition Dodo’?
But someone somewhere has seen sense, and after Mars’ PR team doubtlessly hacking up a few furballs, we understand that the line has been discontinued ‘due to public concerns’.
Probably just as well. We wouldn’t want the cats getting a taste for something that may not be around in a few years.