IS MY AYAM BRAND™ TUNA SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, our tuna is sustainable and here is the rationale behind this claim:
Even though AYAM BRAND™ tuna represents less than 0.1% of the yearly world tuna catch, AYAM BRAND™ is committed to being a brand that stands for quality and acts with responsibility by taking a strong stand for sustainable fish sourcing and compliant fishing and manufacturing practices.
We do not have a direct relationship with tuna fishing vessels as we work with canned fish factories, which produce our recipes to our specifications, and under our quality control. Our area of influence is in the purchasing specifications we provide to the canned tuna manufacturers.
The use of stringent tuna purchasing specifications that require sustainable fish sourcing is our way of putting pressure on the tuna fishing industry to make progress not only on sustainable tuna fishing but also on fair and compliant labour practices.
Manufacturers who have been selected to produce for AYAM BRAND™ must accept our sustainability specifications.
THEY COVER THREE MAIN CATEGORIES:
Simple rules to ensure the sustainability of the tuna used in AYAM BRAND™ production.
THE CODE OF CONDUCT
It is mandatory for our suppliers and their own suppliers to ensure fair and compliant labour and business practices.
These put pressure on the industry for improvements in catching methods.
1 - THE BIOMASS
Rule 1: AYAM BRAND™ only sources tuna species which are not critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable as per the IUCN Redlist .
Rule 2: AYAM BRAND™ only sources tuna species from regional stocks with a healthy biomass (not overfished and not undergoing overfishing). Stocks are monitored by the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).
RFMOs are international intergovernmental organizations dedicated to the sustainable management of fishery resources in international waters. We follow the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC/iota.org) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC/www.wcpfc.int) in particular. Most of their data is published by ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation - http://iss-foundation.org)
Rule 3: We do not accept tuna supply from Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing.
Rule 4: We do not accept tuna supply from fishing vessels not certified as Dolphin Friendly or those practising shark finning or fishing of endangered species.
Rule 5: AYAM BRAND™ sources ONLY THREE species of tuna:
(1) SKIPJACK TUNA (KATSUWONUS PELAMIS)
Most of our canned tuna is produced using skipjack tuna (49% of our tuna volumes). The Skipjack used by our brands is caught in the Pacific Ocean, in areas assessed by WCPFC as healthy (not overfished or undergoing overfishing), but they could come from any other fishing area where skipjack tuna resources are healthy as described by RFMOs.
In the yearly period 2018/2019, 100% of our skipjack tuna was sourced in line with this sustainability specification. This achievement is in line with the previous period 2017/2018.
The stock abundance of Skipjack in the Western Pacific is assessed as healthy. (page 44 of the report ISSF 2019-12: Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna. October 2019*).
(2) YELLOWFIN (THUNNUS ALBACARES)
DAP uses yellowfin tuna (35% of our tuna volumes) for canned tuna in oil or in water. In some parts of the world, yellowfin tuna is overfished. Our requirement is that the yellowfin tuna for our brands be fished from the Western Pacific, which is assessed as healthy by the WCPFC.
In the yearly period 2018/2019, 100% of our yellowfin tuna was sourced in line with this sustainability specification. Still, we have to face the fact that we may in the near future, experience several months without any supply from the Western Pacific. In order to preserve a 100% sustainability ratio on Yellowfin, we have reduced the share of this species in our production.
The stock abundance of Yellowfin in the Western Central Pacific is assessed as healthy. (page 40 of the report ISSF 2019-12: Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna. October 2019*).
(3) TONGGOL (THUNNUS TONGGOL)
We managed to replace Yellowfin by a lesser known species, Tonggol, in about 16% of our supplies. In terms of sustainability balance, such a species (also known as Longtail Tuna) presents both a benefit and a drawback. On the plus side, Tonggol is a coastal fish caught by local small-scale fishermen. It contributes to the local economy and it is not listed as an endangered species of tuna. On the downside, these local species of tuna are not used by the major industries as they are less straightforward to collect and to process, therefore there is no official monitoring of their biomass.
Ayam Brand™ closely monitors information and reports from the RFMOs and ISSF to keep updated on the status of skipjack, yellowfin and tonggol tuna biomass.
2 - THE CODE OF CONDUCT
AYAM BRAND™ works with suppliers who share the same code of conduct for their factories and who, in turn, make it mandatory for their own suppliers.
These practices, within the supply chain, strongly contribute to the improvement of all parties’ sustainability performance and ultimately lead to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between suppliers and stakeholders.
- Labour and social conditions comply fully with national laws and international treaties.
- Internal policies exist to prevent corruption and bribery.
- Human rights must be respected and promoted within the companies.
- Environment, Health and Safety policies must be implemented.
For more details, please refer to our Code of Conduct.
3 - THE RECOMMENDATIONS
We play our role in pushing our suppliers to improve catching methods.
Most AYAM BRAND™ tuna is caught by purse seine fishing vessels and a small percentage from pole and line.
- Purse seines
- Pole & line fisheries
- Trolling or handling fisheries
We do not accept:
- Vessels intentionally pursuing marine mammals, turtles or sharks
As of today, our suppliers are unable to distinguish between the percentage catch of purse seine on free school tuna versus purse seine on FADs as they are sometimes mixed in the fishing vessels. We are, however, in constant dialogue with our suppliers who are committed to collecting data and sharing technical information. This should allow us a better understanding of the situation in a short time frame in order to improve our purchasing specifications.
As a brand involved in canned fish, we regularly express our opinion that Marine Reserves (MRs) and Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) should be enlarged and that well-managed quotas for fish caught based on scientific data is an effective tool to manage and to protect fish resources for future generations.
We specifically express our support to promote the following areas as Marine Reserves and we pledge not to accept fish supply from these seas:
- the Pacific Commons
- the Antarctic Ross Sea
- Pulau Besar and Merlimau in Melaka, Malaysia
- Port Dickson marine park in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
- Pulau Lima in Johor, Malaysia
- Pulau Songsong in Kedah, Malaysia
Moreover, we do not work with any company that is building, or planning to build, new additional vessels for fishing tuna (other than local pole & line and/or handline).
We are also working on adding a certified sustainable pole and line canned tuna range to Ayam Brand™ canned tuna, so AYAM BRAND™ could offer this option to consumers in the near future.
Ayam Brand publishes every year, in full transparency, the data on the sustainability achieved in tuna supply in Denis Group’s annual ESG report.
AYAM BRAND™ is committed to the sustainability and transparency of its products' supply chain. We welcome any further questions at "CONTACT US".