Coles has been caught breaching its own sustainable fish sourcing policy by selling yellow fin tuna. Yellow fin tuna is classified as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources and generally considered to be a fish species that cannot be sustainably fished right now.
After being caught selling the home brand canned yellow fin tuna by journalists from Fairfax Media last week, Coles reported that those particular cans of tuna were from a certified sustainable fishery in the Maldives where the population of yellow fin is ‘doing really well’. It looks to me like Coles relied on the Marine Stewardship Council certification rather than cross-checking the species sections of their own sourcing policy.
Coles has more regulatory, purchasing and compliance resources than just about any other food business in Australia. So if they occasionally make mistakes in their policies and procedures, what hope have smaller businesses got?