Private Label Canned Tuna
Private Label Canned Tuna

Sobeys Inc. is actively engaged with a number of stakeholders regarding its canned tuna procurement practices, including the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF), Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), environmental groups, canned tuna suppliers, and the governments of Thailand and Indonesia.

To ensure the quality and sustainability of our canned tuna products, we have conducted sustainability evaluations at fisheries, ports and processing facilities, and developed extensive sourcing requirements which are explained in the Sobeys Inc. Private Label Canned Skipjack Tuna Policy below.

We offer two private label canned tuna products to our customers: Compliments Chunk Light Tuna and Sensations by Compliments Solid Albacore White Tuna.

Compliments Chunk Light Tuna

Sensations by Compliments Solid White Tuna
Species – Common Name Skipjack Tuna Albacore Tuna
Species - Scientific Name Katsuwonis pelamis Thunnus alalunga
Ocean Caught In Western & Central Pacific Ocean: 90%
Atlantic Ocean: 7%
Indian Ocean: 3%
North Pacific Ocean: 32%
South Pacific Ocean: 32%
Indian Ocean: 21%
Atlantic Ocean: 15%
Gear Used Purse Seine with Fish Aggregating Device (FAD)*: 77%
Purse Seine, Free School: 19.2%
Pole and Line: 4.2%
Longline: 86%
Pole and Line: 14%
Source Fishing Vessel Identification Each can of tuna is traceable to the name of the vessel and its voyage dates. Note: excludes Pole and Line (see below). Each can of tuna is traceable to the name of the vessel and its voyage dates. Note: excludes Pole and Line (see below).
Canning Location Bangkok, Thailand Bangkok, Thailand

*FAD can be natural or man-made.

Sobeys Inc. Private Label Skipjack Canned Tuna Policy

The following Private Label Canned Skipjack Tuna Policy is an addendum to Sobeys Inc.'s National Sustainable Seafood Policy. All of the canned Skipjack tuna we source is in compliance with this policy.

Sourcing Requirements

  • Supplier: Must be a member in good standing with the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF)
  • Species: We only source Skipjack tuna for our Compliments Chunk Light Tuna. Due to concerns over the status of some Yellowfin tuna stocks, we will not source Yellowfin to give them time to rebuild.
  • Stock status: Species cannot be overexploited, as reported by ISSF and/or Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs); or otherwise can be in a publicly-reporting fishery improvement project. Tuna stock assessment reports can be found at:
  • Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU): Zero tolerance on IUU fishing practices; must be compliant with ISSF commitments and procedures.
  • Vessel identification: Vessels must have an International Maritime Organization (IMO) number or Unique Vessel Identifier and cannot be on RFMOs' IUU list.
  • Observer coverage: 100% of Purse Seine vessels (FAD and Free School) have an independent observer on board. Due to the small scale of Pole and Line boats, none of those sources have observer coverage anywhere in the world.
  • Transshipment at sea: Purse Seine vessels are not allowed to transfer the fish they catch to carrier vessels at sea, as this creates risks for IUU sources.
  • Compliance with protected area closures: As determined by RFMOs, fishing vessels must avoid fishing in areas with temporary closures and avoid ratified marine-protected areas.

Further information about the guidance for sourcing canned tuna can be found on Sustainable Fisheries Partnership's website at:

Gear Type

There are three main types of gear used to catch Skipjack tuna for canning: Purse Seine with Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) which can be natural or man-made; Purse Seine, Free School (FS); and Pole and Line (P&L). Each gear type has distinct environmental and social benefits and challenges, as noted in the chart below. Consistent with our Sustainable Seafood Policy which goes beyond certification to advocate improvements in challenged fisheries, we encourage and support improvements for all three gear types.

Gear Type % of Skipjack Caught* Key Issue Improvements Underway
Purse Seine with Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) 50-55% By-catch: Non-targeted species could be caught, such as juvenile Yellowfin tuna, Bigeye tuna, turtles and sharks. The ISSF and its tuna processing members are supporting research on innovations to reduce by-catch.
Purse Seine, Free School (FS) 25-30% Verification: On average, FS has lower by-catch rates than FADs. Many purse seine vessels catch tuna using both FAD and FS methods on the same trip and the catch is mixed in holds, except when RFMOs have periodic area closures on FADs. There is work-in-progress to develop and assure chain-of-custody procedures, so that claims of Skipjack tuna caught using only FS can be substantiated.
Pole and Line (P&L) 8-10% Bait: The small fish used for bait have also become overfished and limit the amount of P&L that can be caught.
Transshipment: Hundreds of small boats transship at sea to larger carrier vessels, creating a challenge to trace the boat and vulnerability to IUU.
Quality: The quality of fish caught using P&L can often be lower than required.**
Bait fishery management plans are needed for existing P&L fisheries, even in advance of increasing P&L capacity.

* Estimated proportion of global canned skipjack tuna catches. "Other" gear types account for 10-12% based on SFP and ISSF data.
** Quality assurance audits ensure that the tuna sourced for Sobeys' canned tuna products meets our degree of quality and standards.

Transparency and Traceability

Each can of Compliments Chunk Light Tuna can be traced to determine the following information:

  • Ocean where the tuna was caught
  • Name of the vessel
  • Dates of the fishing voyage
  • Gear type used to catch the tuna

Data about our canned tuna sources is uploaded by our suppliers to Sobeys' internal web-based seafood metrics system every three months. Each year, both third-party and supplier audits are conducted to verify the data to ensure practices are compliant with ISSF requirements.

In addition, customers will find packaging labels on our canned tuna products with the common name of the tuna species and the country where the tuna was canned.

Our sourcing requirements for Albacore tuna are in development. Click here to review Sobeys Inc.'s National Sustainable Seafood Policy.