SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bumble Bee Seafood Company today announced a $40 million commitment over the next five years toward efforts that will further restore and protect the health of the world’s oceans. The company has created a dedicated Accelerator Fund focused on further closing the gap on some of the biggest industry challenges in the sustainability space. Desired outcomes of the initiative include ensuring the abundance of tuna stocks, reducing the impact of fishing on other species and working to remove plastics and other waste from the ocean.
“Our sustainability journey started many years ago and we’re proud of our past accomplishments, but now is the time to accelerate our actions,” said Jan Tharp, President and CEO of the Bumble Bee Seafood Company. “It’s the right thing to do for our planet, for the billions of people who rely on seafood for sustenance and for the long-term success of our business.”
Tharp said the company will use the Accelerator Fund to pursue new ideas, partners and technologies, while also continuing to advance several current initiatives making a significant impact. Complete details are available in the company’s Seafood Future Report which will be updated annually to track against progress. Initiatives include:
- Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere: Bumble Bee recently partnered with FCF Fishery Company, Ltd. and Ocean Outcomes to launch a first of its kind in the region longline albacore FIP in the Indian Ocean. This work is designed to move the fishery towards the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard that ensures the abundance of the target albacore stock, mitigates the impact of fishing on other species, and certifies the fishery is monitored and well-managed. By 2022, Bumble Bee plans to source 100% of its light meat tuna from MSC-certified fisheries, and by 2023 all longline albacore will come from a credible FIP.
- Plant-Based Foods: Providing alternative, sustainable ways for consumers to enjoy ocean-inspired food is a key pillar of the company’s long-term commitment to ocean health. Earlier this year, Bumble Bee became the first and only major seafood company to enter into the plant-based protein sector via a joint distribution venture with Good Catch Foods.
- Global Ghost Gear Initiative: Bumble Bee recently extended its partnership with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to include a project in Indonesia to develop and deploy ocean-safe tracking mechanisms to find and collect lost and abandoned fishing equipment.
- Reducing Plastic Shrink: The company is also planning to eliminate the plastic shrink on its multipacks through continued innovation, making its overall packaging nearly 95% recyclable in 2020 and expanding to 98% by 2025.
“Our bold goals for the future are based on our unwavering focus to restore and protect the health of our oceans,” added Tharp. “Our past efforts are inspiring the path forward, and we’re building in flexibility and accountability along the way. I am personally challenging us to be more collaborative and to continuously learn and adapt as we track our efforts. We’re all in this together.”
To commemorate this announcement, Bumble Bee is partnering with World Oceans Day, a global ocean conservation collaborative designed to raise awareness and encourage action to restore and protect the world’s ocean.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bumble Bee on our World Oceans Day month-long initiatives,” said Jeff Demain, Director of World Oceans Day. “As a seafood industry leader, Bumble Bee shares in our mission to protect the ocean – every day, year-round. We’re proud to partner as they further advance their environmental sustainability efforts, and with their support, we can continue growing the global movement to protect our blue planet and our one global ocean.”
Bumble Bee’s science-based and progressive approach to sustainability helped drive the formation of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation in 2009. Working alongside scientists, the tuna industry, and the World Wildlife Fund, the company continues to stay close to research and best practices for sustainable tuna fishing, bycatch mitigation, and tracing product entering the supply chain through a leadership role with its Trace My Catch initiative. To further its commitment, a percentage of sales for Bumble MSC-certified Wild Selections® product line has generated $1 million dollars since 2014 to support WWF’s fishery improvement efforts. For more information about the company’s sustainability efforts, visit TheBumbleBeeCompany.com
In 2019, Bumble Bee continued traceability efforts by partnering with SAP to utilize SAP’s Cloud Platform Blockchain to trace the journey of Bumble Bee’s Natural Blue® by Anova® yellowfin tuna from Indonesia. Natural Blue by Anova is the first and only fair-trade, MSC-certified ahi tuna on the blockchain. For more information about the company’s sustainability and traceability efforts, visit TheBumbleBeeCompany.com.
ABOUT THE BUMBLE BEE SEAFOOD COMPANY
The Bumble Bee Seafood Company is on a mission to create a new generation of seafood lovers by delivering delicious, healthy and sustainable seafood options in innovative ways. As an industry leader in sustainability, Bumble Bee works to protect the health of our oceans, marine life and the fishing community through multiple efforts, including the development of dolphin-safe fishing practices, partnerships with organizations like World Wildlife Fund, the Marine Stewardship Council, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, and as a founder of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global partnership of scientists, tuna processors.
Bumble Bee’s full line of seafood and specialty protein products are marketed in the U.S., Canada and over 50 markets globally under leading brands including Bumble Bee®, Brunswick®, Clover Leaf®, Snow’s®, Wild Selections® and Beach Cliff®. For more product information, visit www.BumbleBee.com. For more on the company, visit TheBumbleBeeCompany.com.