Leading North America seafood company Bumble Bee Foods highlighted the collaborative process behind Wild Selections, a new high-quality branded line of products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) that benefits World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation efforts. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wild Selections will support WWF's efforts to protect marine life and expand sustainable fishing practices globally. Bumble Bee first announced the introduction of Wild Selections at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels in late April.
Speaking at the annual Sustainable Brands conference, Bumble Bee SVP of Consumer Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility Dave Melbourne, highlighted the process behind developing the cause-marketing-driven brand. "The introduction of Wild Selections is an evolution of our overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, of which fisheries management is a vital part," said Melbourne. "We are very involved in supporting and promoting conservation efforts for global tuna stocks as a founder of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and it was through our continuing work in global fisheries we saw the unique opportunity to introduce a line of MSC-certified products, while also supporting specific fisheries and WWF's global marine conservation efforts."
"This is a first-of-its-kind collaboration in the U.S. shelf-stable sustainable seafood market that aims to drive change by raising consumer awareness of the importance of seafood sustainability," continued Melbourne. "We are committed to funding ongoing research in fisheries and marine conservation and this project with WWF made perfect sense. It is our hope that this product line will continue to raise awareness of the MSC ecolabel and WWF initiatives."
The first products to be launched under Wild Selections in the fall of 2013 will include MSC-certified albacore and skipjack tuna. Specifically, Phase 1 of the Wild Selections line of seafood will initially include:
- Wild Selections Solid White Albacore in Water
- Wild Selections Solid White Albacore in Water, No Salt Added
- Wild Selections Solid White Albacore in Olive Oil
- Wild Selections Solid Light Tuna in Water
- Wild Selections Solid Light Tuna in Olive Oil
All Phase 1 products are natural, solid tuna with no artificial preservatives or fillers. Later phases will include MSC-certified salmon, shrimp, clams and sardines.
The Wild Selections branding and packaging includes the WWF logo and MSC ecolabel, providing consumers with the opportunity to support fisheries and marine conservation efforts while making an informed choice in wild-caught seafood.
Over the next five years, Bumble Bee is committing 13 cents per can, for a minimum of $1 million, from the sale of Wild Selections products to support WWF programs to improve fisheries, protect critical marine species, and expand sustainable fishing practices globally.
Speaking at Sustainable Brands alongside Melbourne, Bill Fox, vice president and managing director of fisheries at World Wildlife Fund, said, "The introduction of the MSC-certified Wild Selections product line demonstrates Bumble Bee's deep commitment to sustainable seafood. WWF engages with industry leaders to improve global fishing practices and build awareness of sustainably certified seafood, and we look forward to this exciting cause marketing partnership."
The Wild Selections branded line will be distributed nationally and managed outside of Bumble Bee's core franchise and business structure. Suggested retail price is $3.69 per five-ounce can of albacore varieties and $3.19 per five-ounce can of light meat varieties.