Campaigners battle the currents of fish depletion


Nearly a third of the world’s commercial fisheries have collapsed according to the World Wildlife Fund giving rise to a number of global campaigns to save our fishes’ future. And it’s not only the fish that are suffering. Those involved in the industry are subject to many human rights abuses according to claims by Greenpeace. The NGO states more than half the working fishing population are subjected to forced labour.
On the supply side governments and producers have responded to the waves of protest in different ways producing an array of symbols and labels that aim to help consumers understand the provenance and methods used to obtain the fish they buy.
Tuna – one of the world’s most commercially valuable fish – is among the most high profile examples. The “dolphin friendly” label originated in the 1990s when consumers were horrified to hear modern day tuna fishing methods largely included the mass destruction of many other fish and marine wildlife.
More recently consumer awareness about pole and line caught tuna, the method which virtually eliminates the catching of other marine animals, is growing.
Global brands like John West declared it would make its tuna 100% sustainably caught by 2016. No wonder a media storm ensued this month when a Greenpeace study revealed the company was only 2% towards this target.
Princes, another huge brand, promised consumers they would be 100% sustainable by now but have only managed to source 25% of their tuna stocks sustainably.
This might suggest that there is a problem locating sustainable fish from the supplier point of view but the same Greenpeace study revealed by contrast that all the major UK supermarkets use 100% sustainably caught tuna in their own brand tins.
Two thoughts occur from these revelations. As a producer John West and its owner Thai Union need to show they are aware of what customers want and supply it, otherwise it will lose out. The newspaper articles in the wake of these revelations convey huge disappointment and negativity towards the brand. A large company like this should take a lead and a responsibility to help change this rather than moving the goal posts. Here is the perfect opportunity to better work with Greenpeace to find a way of reaching the target.
The second point is about the role social media plays in the coverage of such issues and how all brands needs to be aware of managing their profiles in an open and transparent way. Consumers are quick to voice their concerns now and John West needs to be proactive about its targets and show how it is trying to influence the market more to encourage and support more of us buying pole and line caught fish.

photo credit: Canva

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Jane Milton

Food industry expert Jane Milton has been in the business for more than 30 years and has the inside track on all things food!

In her podcast, Jane takes you behind the scenes of the food business and introduces you to her incredible network of producers, entrepreneurs and
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Fresh Banter with Giles Christopher ,Food, Drink & Hospitality Photographer
byJane Milton

Fresh Banter with Giles Christopher, the food, drink and hospitality photographer


Giles and I met many years ago through his wife and business partner Abi, and since then we have all worked on a lot of jobs together and have spent a lot of time together socially chatting about business and life.


He got some great advice from his Dad about offering to do things nobody else likes to do at work and making himself a valuable team member and sound found he had multiple job offers …


He’s run his own business for over 20 years and we talk about how basic business skills should be part of the curriculum for everyone nowadays


He shares about the prep that goes into shoots and how technology has changed the job so much and how much time photographers now spend in post production too. And about the sheer weight of kit that he takes to ‘location’ shoots too.


Giles loves tech and is always pushing himself to learn new ways of doing things , or master new equipment and he also talks about keeping up with and ahead of that if you can


A really interesting insight into all that food and drink photography involves, and some great tips for podcasts and business blogs to watch out for too.


I’m really pleased we managed to book Giles for a chat in this last episode of series 3…


Let me introduce you to Giles Christopher

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