News

Princes Group reduces Indian Ocean yellowfin sourcing to support long term sustainability

23rd octobre 2020
  • Indian Ocean yellowfin stock has been overfished since 2015
  • Princes had reduced its Indian Ocean yellowfin sourcing by more than 40% since 2017
  • New announcement will see company make total sourcing reduction of 50% on 2017 levels – 25% above the scientific guidance

International food and drink group Princes is continuing to take action to protect tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean by announcing that it intends to reduce its yellowfin sourcing by 50% – over 16,000 tonnes – between 2017 and 2022.

The stock has been overfished since 2015 and requires urgent action to reverse this trend. Princes has been working to develop alternative sources of Yellowfin since 2017 and has already achieved a 40% reduction meaning that Princes usage of Indian Ocean yellowfin currently accounts for less than 5% of the total IO catch. (2)

Princes says it hopes the voluntary cut to 50% by 2022 will make clear to the IOTC, its member states, fisheries and vessels, that action and leadership is required in order to protect the long term sustainability of Indian Ocean tuna and the associated industry in the region.

Neil Bohannon, Group Director for Fish at Princes, said: “We have supported repeated calls for reductions in yellowfin catch in line with the scientific advice.  In recognition of the situation we face, Princes decided to take action to reduce our use of Indian Ocean yellowfin.  Our action alone however will not be enough, the IOTC needs to take action to with all gear types and fleets to reduce catches by 25% from 2017 levels”.

“It is clear we need a credible recovery plan to be agreed by all parties, delivering stock rebuilding within two generations. With our voluntary reduction of Indian Ocean yellowfin in excess of the scientific advice, we are demonstrating our commitment in supporting this recovery”.

“Princes has two manufacturing sites in Mauritius with some 4,000 colleagues and many more jobs in the region are reliant on us. Sustaining the seafood economy is reliant on long term sustainable tuna and the IOTC needs to show leadership and take firm action. We are committed to playing our part.”

“Our commitment to our Mauritian operations mean we have a strong vested interest in the future sustainability of Indian Ocean tuna. We respect decisions that other stakeholders may make on sourcing from the region but hope all stakeholders will continue to embrace the principles of partnership, collaboration and advocacy that are common in addressing the many sustainability or human rights challenges that exist in global food supply chains, of which Indian Ocean tuna is no exception. We look forward to continuing to work with the entire industry to drive change.”

Marcel Kroese, WWF Global Tuna Leader said: “WWF believes that the tuna market plays an important role and welcomes the action Princes is taking to reduce its use of Indian Ocean yellowfin. The species is in a critical state and a plan to rebuild a healthy stock is urgently needed. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meeting in November is an important opportunity for member states to come together to act to save the yellowfin tuna stock from collapsing.”

Executive Director of the Global Tuna Alliance Dr Tom Pickerell said: “This is a very important announcement by Princes. Action is urgently needed on overfished yellowfin stocks, and it is great to see an individual company making such significant strides. What is crucial now is that the IOTC supports these efforts with a formalised and scientifically sound rebuilding plan – this is what the Global Tuna Alliance has been asking of all IOTC delegates. If properly managed there will be enough tuna for everyone – it’s not rocket science; a 25% cut in catches now will rebuild the stock”.

Many fleets that operate in the Indian Ocean have increased their catches since 2017, or are not subject to reduction measures. The 25% reduction proposed within the Global Tuna Alliance’s recent report mirrors the recommendation from the IOTC’s own scientific committee and would see yellowfin stock levels rebuild in two generations. (1)

Princes has previously stated it is committed to only processing responsibly sourced tuna. Princes defines responsibly sourced as fisheries that are either already certified according to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), or are involved in a time-bound Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) that is working towards achieving standards required for MSC certification. Fully traceable pole and line fisheries and catches made that are Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) free are also included.

Bohannon added: “We fully understand the responsibility we have to ensure that this vital natural resource is sourced responsibly. As one of the UK’s biggest importers of tuna, the responsible sourcing of tuna stocks and our role in driving meaningful sustainable change is of crucial importance to our current and future business.

Princes was also a founding partner of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation in 2009, and plays an active leadership role in challenging and promoting the organisation’s work and standards towards the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting tuna ecosystem health.

Princes’ two tuna processing sites in Mauritius are MSC Chain Of Custody certified and both hold SA8000 certification for social accountability.

Ends

29th juillet 2020

Princes partner with Bright Future to provide employment opportunities to modern slavery victims

International food and drink group Princes has announced it is partnering with Bright Future, an employment programme that provides victims of modern slavery with a pathway to paid employment and reintegration into society.

The terms of the scheme, developed by the Co-op with charity City Hearts, will see Princes work with a nationwide network of local victim support charities to identify suitable applicants for employment. These candidates will be offered a four-week paid work placement leading to a non-competitive interview. If both elements are successful, the candidate will be offered a permanent job within the business.

More than 60 vulnerable survivors have already been given a chance to rebuild their lives by the Co-op, and it is envisaged that up to 300 people will secure placements through the Bright Future programme next year.

Princes Group Human Resources Director, Joe Dent, said: “We firmly believe in respect and integrity throughout the supply chain and consider ourselves to be a strong voice on this in our sector. By partnering with the Bright Future Programme, we are further demonstrating our commitment to improve the lives of workers in the supply chain and help victims of slavery and injustice.

In 2018, Princes launched a similar work placement scheme at its Italian tomato operation on Foggia where six migrant recruits are now full time employees in production and three agronomy roles.

News

PRINCES ACHIEVES INTERNATIONAL LISTING ON THE CIPS ETHICS REGISTER

19th février 2020

We’re delighted to announce that Princes has achieved recognition via an internationally published listing on the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Corporate Ethics Register. 

CIPS is a UK-based global professional body representing the purchasing and supply chain profession.

This recognition is a result of colleagues based in the UK, Netherlands and Italy successfully completing the CIPS Ethics Mark training and demonstrates Princes’ commitment to reinforcing ethical values across procurement and supply chain practices.

In order to achieve this recognition, procurement colleagues have demonstrated their respect and awareness of international standards against criminal conduct, including bribery, corruption, fraud and human rights abuse, protecting Princes from potential supply chain malpractice.

This independent accreditation is also testament to the continued leadership we demonstrate on our ethical trading and human rights strategy and also reflects our renewed group vision; ‘Proudly helping families to eat well, without costing the earth’.

News

Princes Achieves Stronger Together Business Partner Status

10th octobre 2019

We’re delighted to announce that following the hard work undertaken by colleagues at our UK manufacturing sites, Princes recently received Stronger Together Business Partner status.

Stronger Together is a multi-stakeholder, business-led initiative aimed at reducing modern slavery, particularly hidden forced labour, labour trafficking and other third party exploitation of workers. 

Stronger Together focus on creating advice that is practical, pragmatic and easy for any business, of any size to understand and use.

All of Princes UK manufacturing sites (as well as our Group Head Office) were formally registered as Stronger Together Business Partners – recognising our commitment to tackling hidden labour exploitation and modern slavery.

News

Princes launches new Group identity as transformation programme gathers pace

2nd septembre 2019

Princes has launched a significant new visual identity and vision for its international food and drink group, as it continues to roll out a substantial investment programme to future proof the business.

The rebrand is a key component of the significant business transformation programme initiated by the business at the end of 2017 to drive continuous growth and respond to challenging market conditions, the investments and decisions of which are now rapidly coming to fruition.

Encompassing all facets of the Group’s visual identity and brand, the development is being supported by a refreshed vision for the business, to truly reflect what it stands for as an organisation, both today and tomorrow: “Proudly helping families to eat well without costing the earth.”

To achieve this vision, Princes Group will deliver sustainable profit growth by:

The new identity also reflects that Princes Group has made significant strides in furthering its credentials as a responsible business, and sees this as a key component of its long-term strategy for growth.

The refreshed group identity follows the £5m launch of major consumer rebrand across its entire Princes range of products earlier this year.

“We now have, more than at any time in our recent history, tangible proof of how we are changing our strategy and business for future success, as a result of the transformational change programme and our focus on operational and people excellence, customers and consumers,” said David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director at Princes Group.

“Together, our strategic programme and rebrand are supporting Princes Group in being future proof and a more agile and responsive business that is able to reflect changing consumer and retailer needs.”

  • Embracing consumer insight and evolving to meet their changing needs through innovation
  • Serving its customers to the highest standards as a trusted first choice partner
  • Sourcing raw materials responsibly and ethically, adding value throughout its supply chain to provide great tasting food and drink
  • Being an employer of choice where our colleagues are proud to represent our business.

With a global supply network and a portfolio of branded and customer own brand products, Princes is one of Europe’s leading food and drink groups. As well as a head office in Liverpool and manufacturing sites across the UK, the company has a growing presence across continental Europe. The Group also has a tomato operation in Italy and tuna processing facilities in Mauritius.

Significant developments recently announced by the Group as part of its transformation programme include:

  • The £5m launch of major consumer rebrand across its entire Princes range of products earlier this year.
  • The completion of the first phase of a planned £80m investment in its Long Sutton site in Lincolnshire with the opening of a new pea plant at the facility.
  • Increasing the recycled content of the plastic it uses, as the shrink wrap packaging on its UK manufactured products moves to 50 percent post-consumer recycled waste (PCRW).
  • Confirmation that 100 percent of the tomatoes Princes processed from its Italian supply chain in 2018 came from farms with independent ethical accreditation.
  • The Ethical Trading Initiative awarded Princes full membership status as a result of the commitment the company has shown to workers’ rights throughout its supply chain.

News

Senegal Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project officially launches

5th août 2019

The Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Senegal has officially launched today following development by a multi-stakeholder alliance of WWF-UKThai Union Group PCLPrinces LimitedAsociación Atuneros Cañeros DAKAR TUNA, SENEMER Fishing Industries and TUNASEN.

Aiming to improve the practices of ten pole and line tuna fishing vessels sailing from Dakar, Senegal, the FIP has been designed to drive the fishery towards the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, which assesses whether a fishery is well-managed and sustainable. It will focus on three key areas, which are: healthy fish stocks; minimal and mitigated impact on ecosystems; and effective management of fisheries. The new FIP will cover individual, pole and line catches of skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna and their bait stock. Participants will also work closely with the fishing authorities of Senegal to improve the governance of fisheries in the region.

WWF-UK has been closely involved in the development of this partnership-driven initiative. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) will continue its involvement as a member of the FIP’s project management team, supporting the newly-appointed FIP co-ordinator Youssef Jaridi, who began his role on 15th July 2019. Working with WWF-UK, fishery managers will use MSC-developed tools to identify and track areas for improvement for the fishery to meet the MSC Fisheries standard. This standard is based on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which provides the main guidelines for sustainable fishing, minimising environmental impact and ensuring effective management.

“The world’s fisheries are under more pressure than ever before, but we can find solutions if the seafood industry works together with authorities and NGOs. The establishment of the Senegal pole and line FIP shows leadership and initiative from producers and vessel owners in the Senegal pole and line tuna fishery. This project must be used to develop stock, ecosystem and management improvements that create a sustainable future for tuna in the region,” said Clarus Chu, Seafood Manager, WWF-UK.

“The launch of the Senegal FIP is an important component in reaching our responsible sourcing targets and builds on our experience from developing and progressing the larger Indian Ocean FIP with our partners over the last couple of years,” said David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director at Princes. “We are committed to supporting the long-term sustainability and continuous improvement of tuna fisheries, and this latest initiative is testament to what can be achieved through true collaboration and shared goals in the industry.”

Tony Lazazzara, Group Fisheries Sustainability and European Fish Procurement Director, Thai Union, said: “By supporting FIPs, we aim to help conserve marine ecosystems and protect the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on them. We have made significant progress against Thai Union’s ambitious global tuna commitment, and the new Senegal FIP further reinforces our commitment to sustainable tuna. This is a great example of stakeholders coming together to deliver meaningful and lasting change, transforming the seafood industry in the process.”

The FIP will be registered on www.fisheryprogress.org, where its performance will be publicly disclosed.

More information on FIPs can be found here.

News

Pea plant completion marks first phase of £80m Long Sutton investment

26th juin 2019

International food and drink group Princes has completed the first phase of a planned £80m investment in its Long Sutton site in Lincolnshire with the opening of a new pea plant at the facility.

To mark the completion of the plant and the start of this year’s pea harvesting season, the plant was officially opened on Monday by Rob James, Factory General Manager and Marc Heading of Gerald Heading & Sons, which supplies peas to the site. As the longest-serving local farmer currently working with the facility, Marc’s family has been growing peas around Chatteris, Cambridgeshire for over 50 years.

The investment is Princes biggest ever capital investment. Long Sutton is the firm’s largest food production site in the UK, producing a range of canned products including peas, pulses, beans, bean meals, fruits and canned ready meals.

The site is one of the largest employers in the area, and its operations support hundreds of regional jobs in businesses and industries that provide raw materials and services.

“This is a hugely significant milestone in our £80m investment programme at Long Sutton, and we are very pleased to have delivered the new pea plant both ahead of schedule and in time for the start of the busy pea season in Lincolnshire,” said Andy Hargraves, Programme Director at Princes. “Our development programme is providing state of the art equipment, better energy efficiency and increased production at the site, and is a major part of our commitment to UK manufacturing and providing long-term, high quality employment opportunities in the area.”

“It’s an honour to be involved in the opening of this impressive new pea plant at Long Sutton,” said Marc Heading. “We have been growing peas in the local area for over 50 years since my grandfather ran the business, and we are very proud to continue our relationship with the site as it enters the next stage of its growth and development.”

The core investment project at Long Sutton is worth over £63m and is set to continue over a two year period, during which the factory will remain fully operational. The project will involve the refurbishment and development of significant aspects of the site including a new raw material warehouse and handling facility, new ingredients processing kitchen and a flexible production line for canned ready meals.

A further £17m is also being invested in capital projects over the same period, including a replacement hydrostat cooker, a soft water plant and new anaerobic digester, which processes waste into biodegradable material, and the implementation of a new IT system. This represents a total investment in the site of £80m over the next 18 months.

Princes also recently completed a £4m investment in new staff welfare facilities, a canteen and improved office spaces for employees at the site.

News

Princes to introduce 50 percent post-consumer recycled shrink film

30th avril 2019

International food and drink group Princes is once again increasing the recycled content of the plastic it uses, as the shrink wrap packaging on its UK manufactured products moves to 50 percent post-consumer recycled waste (PCRW).

Princes household brands such as Crosse & Blackwell, Branston baked beans*, Aqua Pura, Jucee, and all own label it supplies will implement the 50 percent PCRW shrink by the end of 2019. With half of the PCRW material coming from UK sources Princes estimates that across the several hundred products it manufactures each year, this could help reduce the plastic sent to landfill across the UK by up to 1,000 tonnes.

It is estimated that some 1.2 million tonnes of plastic film from packaging arises in the UK waste stream every year. Of this, around two thirds are post-consumer (i.e. from household) and one third from commercial, industrial and agricultural sources.1[1]

David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director at Princes, said: “In recent years, we have made huge progress increasing the recycled content of the plastic we use and this is a further milestone for us. Collation of shrink film around cases and on multipacks represents the second largest use of plastic in our UK manufacturing operations by weight so it’s a significant step.

“Following on from our recent announcements on 51 percent recycled PET in our soft drinks and oils and 30 percent HDPE in chilled juice drinks, we have a strong position on recycled content as a business. Our ultimate goal is to reach the maximum possible recycled content for all the plastics we use as soon as we possibly can and preferably with UK material.

“We hope this helps stimulate an increase in the feed stock of plastics to the UK recycling industry as collections improve, consumers recycle more and technology advances. This is fundamental to ensuring a circular economy is achievable for plastic in the UK.”

Polyethylene waste is collected from UK supermarkets, which is then washed, shredded and re-pelletized for extrusion into new material. The film maintains film thickness, with no compromise to packing speed and pack integrity.

Princes is also committed to ongoing packaging reduction projects to reduce the weight of plastics. Over 35 projects have been completed in the last ten years that have removed 5,000 tonnes of plastics.

*Branston is a registered trademark of Mizkan Europe Limited and used under licence.

1http://www.wrap.org.uk/collections-and-reprocessing/dry-materials/plastics/guidance/plastic-film-packaging

News

Princes invests £5m in extensive rebrand as it targets new shoppers

3rd avril 2019

International food and drink group Princes has invested in a major consumer rebrand across its entire Princes range of products, in its first significant update since 2004.

The £5m investment will modernise pack designs and formats to enhance brand consistency and differentiation across all of Princes product categories – Fish, Meat, Fruit, Juice and Ready Meals.

New product development will also debut in various categories throughout 2019.

The brand refresh will be promoted to new and existing shoppers through a substantial ATL campaign and communications programme across TV, digital and radio advertising, PR and retailer promotional activity, beginning this month and carrying through into Spring 2020.

Core SKUs are planned to arrive on shelves from early April, with the staged roll out continuing until the end of August this year.

This is a significant step in the strategic plan initiated by Princes Group two years ago to drive continuous growth and respond to challenging market conditions. The rebrand has been designed to encourage purchase from new shoppers, while encouraging re-appraisal and increasing loyalty from the 15.7m households Princes already reaches each year.

“Generations of families have grown up with Princes and over half of all UK households buy our products every year. We understand our audience base is constantly evolving and becoming ever more diverse, and the shape of family life has fundamentally changed. This rebrand is a significant part of our response to these developments, and a key part of the strategic plan we launched two years ago,” said Alan Eriksen, Marketing Director at Princes Group.

“We strongly believe our extensive review of the range puts us in a strong position to both remain relevant, and continue to grow as one of the UK’s largest food and drink brands.” 

Sales of canned food have recently risen for the first time in five years as consumers reappraise the convenience, quality and value for money credentials of ambient food.

The canned category in particular is seen as more relevant than ever due to the growing green agenda amongst consumers, with cans boasting strong recyclability credentials. The Princes rebrand presents a significant opportunity to galvanise the category.

Princes has been one of the nation’s favourite food and drinks brands for generations, bringing millions of people simple and delicious products since 1900.

With sales of £176.3m, Princes products are picked off the shelves three times every second (107.4m packs per year).