Live Longer with Legumes

Our Sustainability Commitment

At John West, we are taking an active role in safeguarding our ocean's resources and the wellbeing of coastal communities who depend on them for their livelihood.

John West Australia conducts its business in an ethical manner and maintains high standards of corporate governance.  Social, environmental and ethical issues matter to us and we are committed to ensuring that we provide sustainable and responsibly sourced products to our customers and consumers.

John West Australia is the largest branded supplier of seafood products in Australia and we take our role in safeguarding the ocean resources seriously. We recognise that our resources need to be respected and used wisely so that they continue to be healthy, productive and resilient.

For more information, please view our John West Responsibly Sourced Seafood Policy. 

Please see our video at the top of this page.

John West Conservation Projects

In 2012 we established The John West Conservation Program – a series of WWF marine conservation projects aimed at creating more responsibly sourced seafood, sustainable fisheries and improve the social and economic well-being of fishing communities.

This program is part of Our Oceans Forever and our partnership with WWF, seeking to improve the sustainability our seafood supply chain.

By choosing John West you’re helping to support Pacific Island conservation projects, working to provide coastal communities access to a secure source of food and income, while protecting reefs and local resources for the future, helping to ensure we have healthy oceans forever.

We are currently supporting several projects, in partnership with WWF. These include:

Pacific Island Conservation Project

In partnership with WWF, the John West Pacific Islands Conservation Project supports community-based fishing and micro-financing projects in Ghizo in the Solomon Islands and Madang in Papua New Guinea. The goal is to protect over-exploited reef ecosystems, create food security, boost local economies, and to diversity income streams for the community so they are not soley reliant on fishing. This will also provide greater business opportunities for local women.

These Pacific Island communities rely heavily on the ocean as their primary source of both protein and income. With overfishing occurring, the reefs and reef fish are under enormous pressure and fast growing populations are also putting increasing demands on overfished reefs.

WWF, together with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is working with these communities to deploy small floating rafts anchored to the seafloor and close to shore, to attract different types of fish and move fishing away from the reef. Fishers can then quickly and easily catch enough fish to feed their families, with extra to sell at the markets and at the same time, reduce environmental damage to fragile reef areas.

The John West Pacific Islands Conservation Project also co-funds a scheme to help local people (especially women) develop the skills and capacity to establish small businesses that can take advantage of catching more fish and trading the surplus. To date, the progress of this scheme has been a great success with over 300 women, from seven community zones, participating in financial literacy training. As of November 2014, over 600 women have saved more than SBD 129,000.

John West is continuing its support of this project in partnership with WWF and the Australian Government to:

  • support and build the capacity, expansion and sustainability of the micro-financing schemes in both Ghizo and Madang;
  • support target communities in exploring commercial opportunities from the increased volumes of higher value fish;
  • explore business opportunities, especially for women, from the micro-savings and revolving loan funds;
  • maintain the ongoing fisheries and socio-economic monitoring programs; and
  • continuing to develop, build capacity and apply rafter-related community-based fisheries co-management strategies.
  • Together, John West Australia, WWF and the Australian Government are working to protect reefs and local resources for the future, while ensuring the coastal communities of today can access a secure source of food and income.

Maldives Conservation Project

Supporting responsibly sourced tuna from the Maldives

Through our partnership with WWF, John West Australia has invested in the scientific development of a new tuna stock assessment modelling system, which will help the Maldives pole and line Skipjack tuna fishery maintain its MSC certification and increase the availability of sustainable tuna.

To date, this project has seen the fishery maintain MSC certification for skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), the most important species economically. Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) is poised to follow.

As part of the John West Conservation Program, we are supporting the training and sampling activities of three two-person teams, deployed at several ports in the Maldives archipelago.

The activities of these teams will improve data-collection across the Maldives tuna fishery, which is important because accurate and timely information on tuna catches underpins the effective management of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.

Indonesian Conservation Project

Aimed at developing sustainable baitfish fisheries in several regions within Indonesia.

Supporting sustainable baitfish practices for Pole and Line fishing

John West Australia is working together with the International Pole and Line Federation (IPNLF) and WWF on an Indonesian Pole and Line project. The aim of this project is to develop sustainable baitfish fisheries in several regions within Indonesia that support pole and line tuna fishing operations and human consumption requirements.

Pole and line tuna fisheries around the globe rely predominantly on wild caught baitfish species in order to operate. The sustainability of baitfish harvests has been a critical issue to address for many pole and line fisheries.

Fortunately, the majority of baitfish species found globally, including in Indonesia, have biological characteristics (such as high fecundity, high productivity, rapid growth, short lifespans), which make them relatively resilient to fishing pressure. However these species, if not well managed, can be adversely affected by fishing activities and are highly sensitive to environmental conditions.

The project will assist several baitfish fisheries on the path towards MSC certification and will include, but is not limited to, developing best practice guidelines and related procedures, and an economic feasibility study of baitfish culture operations within the region. 

Tuna By-catch Reduction through Smart Gear (International Competition)

Encouraging innovation to reduce fisheries by-catch

At John West, we realise improving fishing gear is a key step in reducing by-catch (‘by-catch’ is the unintended capture of non-target fish species). Modifying fishing gear can increase the chances of escape for non-target species or, better yet, reduce their capture in the first place. Some of the best by-catch solutions to date have come from fishers themselves and simple, inexpensive innovations already operate effectively in many fisheries.

WWF’s International Smart Gear competition encourages innovative ideas with practical applications for fishing “smarter”. As tuna is a major commodity as well as a core product for John West, this year we offered a special prize for by-catch reduction ideas specific to tuna fisheries.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the John West Special Tuna Prize for 2014 was the “SeaBird Saver”, developed by Marine Biologist Ernst Schrijver. The SeaBird Saver is a bird-deterrent which uses an innovative laser system and optional acoustic stimulus to actively deter birds from flying into zones around fishing operations which could be dangerous to them. In reducing bird by-catch and fatalities, the SeaBird Saver also improves the catch for fishermen.

See the SeaBird Saver in action

Sustainability is a journey we embarked on many years ago but it’s an aspiration that we share with many other like-minded organisations. We can’t do it alone. We've partnered with a number of industry bodies, government and non-government organisations and experts to achieve our sustainability goals.

John West Australia is an active participant or member of the below organisations:


Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains.

The Australian Retail and Supplier Roundtable

The Australian Retail and Supplier Roundtable has been established by the Australia Food and Grocery Council, Woolworths and Coles as the first national forum for the Australian consumer goods industry. It is a CEO lead cross-industry forum to facilitate greater private and public sector collaboration across the food & grocery value chain. This is the first multi-sector collaborative forum of its kind within Australia, and is modelled on the highly successful international Consumer Goods Forum. The R&SR is an Australian not-for-profit incorporated organisation that is designed and driven by its members to act upon, inform and influence significant matters that impact upon food & grocery products to Australian consumers.

MRAG Australia Pacific

John West Australia actively encourages independent monitoring. MRAG Asia Pacific is a consulting firm dedicated to promoting sustainable utilisation of natural resources through sound integrated management policies and practices. MRAG Asia Pacific regularly audit our business to help us deliver continuous improvement to our supply chain.

Regional Fisheries Management Organisation

We fully support the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMOs) which exist to responsibly manage fish populations. We collaborate with RFMOs on tagging programs and information sharing to help better manage fisheries.

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation

John West Australia is an active supporter of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) which brings together scientists, industry and the environmental NGO community in order to undertake science-based initiatives to support the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna populations.

Earth Island Institute

The Earth Island Institute is an independent non-government organisation based in the USA that monitors fishing practices worldwide. Standards for dolphin safe practices were developed by the Earth Island Institute in the early 1970s. In order for products to bear the ‘Dolphin Friendly’ symbol, tuna fishing vessels must be certified by the institute. All of our tuna products are ‘Dolphin Friendly'.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global, independent, not for profit organisation originally established in 1997 by WWF and Unilever. Becoming independent in 1999, MSC aims to address the issue of seafood sustainability with the fishing industry.

Working to ensure fish populations are responsibly managed for the future, MSC only awards its eco label to fisheries that have achieved certification to its stringent sustainability standards. John West Australia is a strong supporter of the MSC’s mission to encourage and promote the best sustainable and environmental choices in seafood.

Our Oceans Need Help.

Today, 3 billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. 1 in 10 people around the world rely on the seafood industry for their livelihoods. Healthy oceans are essential for thriving marine ecosystems, livelihoods and economies. Today our oceans are under increasing pressure. Unsustainable fishing is harming fish populations, habitats and fishing economies. As the world's population increases, sustainable fishing practices become more important than ever. Unless we make a change, fish stocks may be exhausted in our lifetime.

Fully Certified - the world's best standard in sustainability, every time.

The Marine Stewardship Council is the world's leading certification program for wild-caught, sustainable seafood. Each can of John West tuna proudly displays its blue certification ecolabel. Your choice of MSC certified sustainable John West tuna helps contribute to a sustainable future for our oceans.

28 Performance Indicators for Assessing Fisheries.

The MSC's third-party certification process for fisheries is rigorous, transparent and based in science. Fisheries are assessed by independent scientific teams against the MSC standard and its three core principles: maintaining a sustainable level of fish stocks, minimising environmental impact and effective fishery management. Once fisheries have been certified to MSC, they are independently audited to ensure ongoing compliance to all MSC standards.

Generating Improvements in Ocean Health

MSC certified fisheries are producing real results - on average they have increased the abundance of fish stocks 46% over ten years, compared with only 9% for uncertified fisheries.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is a leading global certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood (aquaculture).

ASC is an independent, non-profit organisation that was established in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage a global set of standards for aquaculture.

The ASC aims to be the world's leading certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC is a global organisation working with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental and social choice in seafood.

The ASC's aquaculture certification program and seafood label recognises and rewards responsible aquaculture.


John West supports World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF) efforts to protect marine life and expand sustainable fishing practices globally - a partnership to create lasting change through a collaboration of business, science and conservation.

WWF is the world's largest conservation organization, working in over 100 countries as well as oceans around the globe. With the support of almost five million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change.

In 2012, to further improve the sustainability of our seafood supply chain, we were one of the first seafood brands in Australia to form a partnership with WWF. We are proud to continue this work with WWF into the future.

Our partnership with WWF commits John West Australia to WWF’s Global Sustainable Seafood Charter. This Charter jointly commits John West Australia and WWF to:

  • contribute to a future in which sustainable fisheries thrive in healthy ecosystems, benefiting people, businesses and species that depend on them
  • work together towards sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture production
  • safeguard valuable marine ecosystems, ensuring the long term viability of seafood supply that we all depend on

Ultimately this partnership has resulted in John West Australia working towards all products being responsibly sourced and developing full traceability procedures demonstrating that they are sourced from:

  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries; or
  • Aquaculture Stewardship (ASC) certified farms; or
  • Where MSC/ASC products which meet our product specifications are not available, John West Australia will only use:
  • responsibly source seafood products as advised by WWF; or
  • seafood products sourced from a fishery or aquaculture operation which is the subject of an improvement project recognised by WWF.

Through our partnership with WWF, we are also investing in developing WWF conservation projects under the John West Conservation Program to improve the social, environmental performance of tuna fisheries and surrounding communities in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

Simplot Australia Pty Ltd is accredited by the Earth Island Institute Dolphin Safe International Monitoring Program.

For more information refer to the Earth Island website

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