Thai Union Group’s US shelf stable operation has signed a deal to promote Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified yellowfin tuna sourced from the eight-member nations of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) with its premium “Genova” brand.
The Bangkok, Thailand-based company’s Tri-Union Seafoods arm, will now use MSC yellowfin from the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) from the PNA countries, supplied by the Netherlands-based Pacifical, in Genova-branded cans. Thai Union’s main brand in the US is Chicken of the Sea, but Genova is its premium label.
Genova’s MSC-certified yellowfin products have just been made available nationwide in the US in Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons Companies, Costco Wholesale and other retailers, the company said.
“Our sustainability strategy includes a commitment to procure tuna from MSC-certified fisheries,” said Roxanne Nanninga, director of sustainability for Thai Union in North America.
“Our cooperation with Pacifical to source MSC tuna for our Genova brand is evidence of that commitment in action,” said Nanninga, in a statement.
“The sustainable management of the PNA waters is vital for the future of tuna species worldwide since 25% of the world’s tuna catch comes from our exclusive economic zones,” said Henk Brus, managing director of Pacifical, which has an exclusive agreement to sell the MSC tuna from the PNA countries, in the statement.
“The partnership with Chicken of the Sea in the US market will be of great contribution to the further continuation of our sustainable effort in North America,” said Brus.
“We congratulate Chicken of the Sea for this exceptional step forward and their contribution towards sustainability through the involvement of the Genova brand,” said Maurice Brownjohn, commercial director of the PNA office.
The eight nations united under the PNA hold 25% of the world’s tuna stocks and 50% of the world’s skipjack stocks in their waters.
Located within the WCPO, the PNA members are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
In 2011, PNA skipjack tuna caught by purse seiners setting nets on free school sets of adult fish and without the use or association with fish aggregating devices was certified by the MSC as sustainable. PNA yellowfin tuna was added to the certificate in February 2016.