Bumble Bee Seafood Co Becomes a Sponsor
June 15, 2020 | By Gloria Kostadinova
World Ocean Day is happy to welcome its newest partner – The Bumble Bee Seafood Company. Aligned with the World Ocean Day mission to focus on accelerating conservation efforts every day, Bumble Bee is committed to a year-round focus on sustainability, not only for their business practices but for all people and the planet. As one of North America’s largest shelf-stable seafood companies, Bumble Bee is dedicated to the future well-being of marine ecosystems and supports global policies and management initiatives that ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries around the world.
“We’re proud to support World Ocean Day as we share the same mission to restore and protect the defining feature of our planet,” says Jan Tharp, President, and CEO of the Bumble Bee Seafood Company. “Bumble Bee’s sustainability journey started many years ago, and now is the time to accelerate our actions and set bold goals for the future – it’s the right thing to do for the planet, the billions of people who rely on seafood for sustenance and for the long-term health of our business.”
The company’s sustainability journey began back in 2009, when Bumble Bee drove the formation of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a partnership of scientists, the tuna industry and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with a mission to advance science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna stocks. Over the years, Bumble Bee has continued to work closely with industry stakeholders, launching several initiatives, including Trace My Catch that enables consumers to track the source of their seafood from catch to can by entering a code found on the package. If you have a Bumble Bee can at home, try it for yourself and trace your catch!
Ensuring sustainable fishing practices is critical to the health of our ocean, though it’s just one part of the conservation effort to protect our blue planet. That’s why Bumble Bee takes a holistic approach when it comes to sustainability, tackling issues from sustainable seafood to plastic pollution in the ocean.
Did you know that abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, also known as ghost gear, is the most harmful type of marine debris? Conservative estimates suggest 640,000 to 800,000 tons of fishing gear is lost annually worldwide, which could account for at least 10% of all plastic pollution in the ocean. To address the devastating impacts of ghost gear, Bumble Bee joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in 2018, a cross-sector alliance committed to ensuring safer and cleaner oceans by creating economically viable and sustainable solutions to retrieving lost and abandoned fishing equipment. The seafood company recently announced that it has extended its partnership with the GGGI to include a project in Indonesia to develop ocean-safe tracking mechanisms that find and collect lost and abandoned fishing equipment.
Today, Bumble Bee continues to accelerate innovative actions and explore new horizons of sustainable seafood. 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, which is why earlier this year Bumble Bee became the first and only major seafood company to invest in the plant-based protein industry through a joint-venture with Good Catch Foods.
“No matter where you live in the world you are connected to our one global ocean,” says Tharp. “For those of us fortunate enough to live near the coast, we have a deep appreciation of both the beauty and the bounty of the ocean and the impact its proximity has on our economy, as well as our personal well-being.”
To ensure the well-being of our blue planet and the health of global fisheries, Bumble Bee is setting bold goals for the future and building flexibility and accountability into its plans, including goals to source 100% of its light tuna from Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries by 2022 and make nearly 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025. And all of this is backed with Bumble Bee’s $40 million investment over the next five years into an Accelerator Fund to continue to close the gap on some of our biggest challenges in the sustainability space.
“World Ocean Day looks forward to collaborating with Jan and Bumble Bee across its sustainability priorities,” says Jeff Demain, World Ocean Day Manager, “and to advancing year-round ocean action to ensure a healthier blue planet for all.”
Together we can!