Promoting CSR in the Spanish Tuna Fish Industry

Responsabilidad & Sostenibilidad S.A. and CAD carry out a study to identify best practices to be developed in the Spanish tuna fish sector in order to gain a more sustainable way of production.

Tuna fish is one of the most consumed products worldwide. It constitutes one of the last sources of natural proteins that are still available on the market. But the production is reaching its limits due to unsustainable practices that endanger the survival of the species. The Spanish tuna industry, whether it comes to fishing or processing, is the biggest one at the European level and one of the biggest on a global scale. Specialized in tropical species (tuna fish in tins, that does not include the controversial red tuna fish), in the past years the industry has been making efforts to improve its production practices and to gain a change of mentality amongst its members. However, at the same time it faces a rising competitiveness from countries with much lower environmental, social and labour costs than those of Spain, and its reputation does not reflect – according to its own view – the efforts made.
Therefore Interatún, the Spanish tuna industry labour union, commissioned CAD in cooperation with the consultancy R&S (Responsibility and Sustainability) to carry out a study that promotes CSR practices in the sector, and at the same time includes an analysis of the perception of these practices among the main stakeholders (NGOs, regulatory agencies, distributors, consumer associations etc.). The study allows for the identification of aspects to be ameliorated and presents recommendations on how to gain a sustainable production and to improve the dialogue of the tuna fish industry with the main stakeholders in order to improve its image. This way, it will be possible to differentiate between Spanish tuna fish from sustainable production and tuna fish from unsustainable production, thus responding to the concerns of the industry and to the problems related to a sustainable use of resources.