Ethical Performance
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Night at movies prompts action at Pret A Manger

July 2009

A film has convinced the British sandwich chain Pret A Manger to switch to a more sustainable variety of tuna – even at the risk of reduced sales.

Julian Metcalf, the company’s chairman, recently saw the new feature film documentary, The End of the Line, which reports on the intensive fishing of bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Now he has decided the company should use only skipjack tuna, a variety not under threat from over-fishing.

The new tuna will be caught by the pole-and-line method rather than in nets, so as to avoid accidentally catching other species and over-exploitation.

However, skipjack tuna will be more expensive. Metcalf said: ‘We could lose some customers in the short term, but I do feel they will eventually come back as they understand what it is all about. It’s something we felt we had to do, and if it costs us, so be it.’ Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have also stopped selling bluefin tuna.

The documentary, based on a book by Charles Clover, predicts that if global fishing methods do not change, the world could see the end of most seafood by 2048.

Pret A Manger | UK & NI Ireland | Sustainability

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