Walmart’s New Pacific Island Tuna Brand Aims to Fund Climate Resilience Projects
The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the US environmental organization Nature Conservancy today announced a new partnership to launch a new brand of tuna with proceeds going to Pacific island communities facing increasing climate risks.
Pacific Island Tuna (PIT) will supply canned tuna, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, to Walmart for its own Great Value line, which will be available in the United States from early 2022.
In the United States, the cans are expected to cost two cents more than the standard range, but 100% of the net proceeds will go to the Pacific Islands, with 40% going directly to community conservation and climate resilience projects, such as the development and management of Marine Protected Areas and the restoration of coral reefs. The remaining 60 percent of the profits will go directly to the governments of the Pacific Islands.
“We are honored to work with an innovative partner like TNC and a major retailer like Walmart on this transformative business venture, which will promote the economic development and conservation of our beloved country,” said David Kabua, President of the Republic of Marshall Islands. . “This approach maximizes the benefits for our employees, who will see investments in climate resilience, additional income for associated businesses and the creation of new employment opportunities on land and on the water. We are also excited about the catalytic impact this deal will have. We believe more retailers will follow suit and commit to being transparent in their seafood supply chains, while also seeing the value of working directly with the most people and communities. affected.
The partnership said it is fully committed to transparency and strict sourcing standards, including a ban on aggregating devices for fish that have been blamed for increasing bycatch of species at risk, such as juvenile tunas, sharks and turtles, and the requirement that all fish pass through a Pacific port to verify catch volumes.
Pacific Island Tuna also aims to promote supply chain transparency within its own business and across the industry through the use of electronic surveillance which films fishing activity and can help ensure fishing practices remain up to established standards, the company said.
Commenting on the launch, Gene Muller, Managing Director of Pacific Island Tuna, said, “Pacific Island Tuna is showing the world that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive, even in an industry that has been challenged by both.
“Through close collaboration between resource owners and retailers, we can shape a different and more resilient future for the tuna industry and the communities that depend on it. We are confident that this model will be adopted throughout the industry, benefiting both people and the planet. “
Pacific Island Tuna aims to expand its model to other Pacific Island countries in the future, he said.
“The companies that will lead over the next decade will be those that invest long term in genuine local and people-centered partnerships that foster transparent and resilient supply chains, environmental resilience and socio-economic opportunities for those who rely on and care for nature, ”said Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “We hope Pacific Island Tuna’s best practices for sustainability will be adopted in fisheries around the world, as a vital step in helping our oceans at a critical time for their health and protection.”