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

23rd oktober 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.


29th juli 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.


Colleague blogs

12th juni 2020

Princes Colleague Blogs

The #hiddenheroes campaign has really struck a chord with us here at Princes. As a food and drinks manufacturer all of our colleagues have been kept incredibly busy – safe within the confines of social distancing measures, our key workers have been on site everyday maintaining (and on occasion smashing) our production targets and for others the challenges of remote working have become the norm. But in amongst the uncertainty of this crisis, we started to hear stories of colleagues going the extra mile – volunteering their time and donating their own money in a real effort to make a difference. We’d like to share their stories with you here to make sure our heroes aren’t hidden!

If any colleagues would like to submit a blog about what you’re doing during this crisis, please contact us on

Helping the Vulnerable

By Andy Evans

Andy Evans is an engineer at our Wisbech site, the home of Branston baked beans and Crosse & Blackwell soup. In addition to the demanding day job, Andy has been delivering food parcels to people living in the Wisbech area in his spare time…

I’ve been delivering these parcels for a charity called 50 Back Packs for some time. It’s an amazing cause

It is a not for profit organisation that started life as a foodbank for homeless people but when the COVID-19 outbreak started, they began to help the vulnerable and elderly.

I get a real sense of achievement from doing this. I was recently asked what drew me to volunteer for this particular cause and I can say that it was the “delivery” of parcels containing not only food but other essential items such as basic personal hygiene products to people who are vulnerable, and frightened to go out shopping for themselves because of this outbreak.

We also give out parcels to people on furlough who are receiving 80% of their pay, but as we all know if we lose 20% of our income some lesser paid people within the community would struggle to feed their families in the manner to which they were accustomed, and as I was not on furlough I thought it only right to help those vulnerable and some cases frightened and needy households within my local community.   

As I said, I get a real sense of achievement so I guess I’m doing this as much for me as for them.

Keep our beaches clean and safe…even in ‘lockdown’!

By Heather Hall

Heather Hall works in our head office based in the iconic Royal Liver Buildings in Liverpool city centre (though working from home at the moment). Heather feels that even though COVID19 is dominating our lives at the moment, we shouldn’t neglect our environment and in particular our local beaches where, people leave their litter behind instead of taking it with them.

I was asked how I started collecting litter from our local beach in Formby, Merseyside. It started for me when 3 local ladies posted on Facebook that they were setting up a litter picking group and needed volunteers so I thought I’d go and do “my bit for the community”, I enjoyed it so much I’ve been involved ever since. I’ve made some great friends and as an extra bonus, it keeps me fit! 

We used to meet up twice a week between April-October to keep our stunning beach and dunes free of rubbish so that everyone who visits there can enjoy its beauty.  It’s so disheartening to see the way many people are happy to leave their rubbish for others to pick up!  We also have the support of the National Trust Rangers. 

It’s interesting to see some of the things that either get washed up or unearthed in the sand dunes and we get to enjoy some amazing sunsets.The weather during part of lockdown was exceptionally warm and that brought huge levels of visitors to the beach, as many of the National Trust staff had been furloughed it meant bins weren’t being emptied so higher than normal levels of rubbish was left.  Added to the normal rubbish, were unprecedented numbers of disposable BBQs buried in the sand causing injury to people walking barefoot, this added to the broken glass was making the areas not just unsightly but unsafe too.

There is an abundance of wildlife in the dunes and the litter could cause them serious harm.  

I wish I had the answer to how to eradicate the litter in this beautiful area but sadly, the majority of it is left my people being too lazy to take it home or dispose of it responsibly.  Hopefully when Deposit Return Schemes are introduced in England it may encourage more people to return/recycle their bottles and with new technology/innovation evolving it may mean than more of the litter that is left is less harmful to the environment.

Helping an orphanage in Surinam

By Awind Alakhramsing

Awind Alakhramsing works in our Princes Rotterdam office for the finance department. He was recently nominated for a Pride in Prices award because of his work within the department, which included a cash award. Awind is planning to go to Surinam, his home land, with his family in Aug 20 (dependent on how the COVID-19 issue develops and when we are allowed to fly again), and here he talks about how he’s going to put the money to good use.

You see there’s an orphanage ‘Kinderhuis Sanatan Dharm’, near to the town where I grew up. There are around 80 children living there at any one time who are looked after by local volunteers and a lovely couple who manage the facility.  I’m lucky enough to be able to go home once a year and I like to go to visit the orphanage for at least one of the days that I’m there. As the orphanage is so close to my heart, when I received the award, I didn’t hesitate for a moment and decided to use the money to help the children enjoy a day of fun whilst my family and I are there. We’re all really looking forward to seeing all their happy faces!

Caring for Care Homes

By Paul Cook

Paul Cook from Long Sutton noticed that some of the colleague product parcels Princes were giving to Key Workers had not been collected, which set him thinking…

COVID19 has hit so many people and not least, the Care Homes in my area. They’re key workers looking after extremely vulnerable people, and being forgotten about in my opinion. It is true that we, as food production workers are classed as key workers ourselves but I’m just grateful to have a job roll where I’m able to keep on working through it all.

I pass Amberley Hall Care Home, daily whilst out walking my dog. One day while I was on my walk, I saw a lady trying to see her mother through a window at the care home. She seemed quite upset so I asked her if she was ok. She said that she was worried about not just her mum, but also the rest of the residents in the care home. This was because their families are not allowed to visit because of.  The smallest of things that those visitors bring them like bottles of squash, fruit juice and other drinks etc. meant a lot to the residents and the staff. Now of course, they’re not getting anything.

It was a few weeks later that I noticed a lot of my colleagues from work had not picked up their food parcels that Princes were providing for us during this crisis and this gave me an idea as these parcels would be ideal for the residents and care workers at Amberley Hall. That was when I decided to get in touch with our HR colleagues at the Long Sutton site, from there I arrange to sort and deliver the unclaimed parcels to Amberley Hall.

Everyone at Amberley Hall were lovely and so grateful to receive what myself and my fiancée Malgorzata Worytko (who is also team leader of Technical QA night shift) brought for them.

We felt truly humbled.

For the Love of Scrubs

By Lynne Francey

Lynne Francey works at Princes head office, based in the Royal Liver buildings in Liverpool. She is always on the go and ably assists her team not only with work but by creating after hours, quizzes & a team blog to keep them entertained during lockdown. Whilst a number of colleagues across the group have been busy volunteering in many different ways, Lynne’s love for sewing has seen her join  ‘For the Love of Scrubs, Liverpool Women’s and Alder Hey Hospitals’,  a Facebook (FB)hub. The hub has been sewing scrubs and scrub bags for nurses and doctors based at the world famous hospitals, through the crisis.

I had heard about the shortage of scrubs at hospitals across the UK; I just wanted to help and put my love for sewing to good use during lockdown and hopefully make a difference. Both hospitals were so appreciative but Alder Hey especially was overwhelmed by the support.

There are many FB hubs across Merseyside assigned to various hospitals. This hub was close to my home and to my heart having volunteered for 4 years at The Women’s Hospital.

Originally I funded the purchase of 40 metres of fabric myself, however, the hub organisers had a crowd funding page and managed to raise over £700 so I was refunded. John Lewis was brilliant and donated over 900 metres of fabric to the hub too.

So far, our hub has delivered over 500 sets of scrubs and 400 scrub bags. Amazingly there are more sewers than fabric so for now I’m not sewing anymore scrubs. I have thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie the hub created and it gave me a sense of achievement by helping others.

Fighting against COVID19

Claire Payne is an Executive Assistant normally based at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, currently working from her home in Liverpool. Claire wanted to do something to help during this time of crisis, so she did a phone around to find out about volunteering and…

Obviously my work at Princes is a priority so in my spare time, I’m a NHS volunteer and it’s proving to be a very rewarding (not to mention humbling) experience.  

I started in April 2020 and since then I’ve done a variety of things:

  • Check in and Chat calls – this is with isolated and vulnerable people including VE Veterans
  • Collecting prescriptions – does what it says on the tin – I take fulfilled prescriptions from the local chemist and deliver the medication to people who have isolated
  • Shopping for essential items – I also do shopping for the vulnerable and deliver it to their door.

I’ve been provided with an app on my smart phone and when I’m needed for a particular service a siren sounds – it’s so loud I almost had a heart attack the first time it went off!! It’s really is a great system though.

It struck me doing all of these activities that many of the people I go to wouldn’t see anyone from one week to the next if it wasn’t for my visit, which frankly made me very sad but at the same time has made me feel even better about what I’m doing.



19th februari 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’.


Princes Achieves Stronger Together Business Partner Status

10th oktober 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.


Princes launches new Group identity as transformation programme gathers pace

2nd september 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.


Senegal Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project officially launches

5th augustus 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, where its performance will be publicly disclosed.

More information on FIPs can be found here.


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

26th juni 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.