3 ways Tesco is lying to its customers

Posted by Ariana Densham — 28 March 2014 at 6:49pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

Busted: Tesco are dishing out fishy lies again. And they’re hoping that we’ll all swallow it, hook, line and sinker.

Let’s set the record straight. Tesco is undermining its commitment to protect our oceans. How? Because after cleaning up it’s own brand in 2012, it immediately started selling a new brand of unsustainable tuna - Oriental & Pacific - which is caught with a method that kills sharks, turtles and rays.

Since we exposed Tesco, the lies and half truths have been getting bigger, which clearly means they’re really feeling the pressure from your letters, emails and phone calls.

Lie number one:

In responding to complaints about Oriental & Pacific, Tesco has wrongly told customers that John West and Princes both committed to sourcing 100% of their tuna from a mixture of pole and line and fish aggregation device (FAD)-free methods, or ‘from certified sustainable sources’ by the end of 2016.

Woah, hang on there Tesco, that’s totally false in two huge ways. First, Princes deadline is end of 2014. Second, neither companies committed to getting tuna from ‘certified sustainable sources.’ This was never part of their original commitments and Tesco has simply made that bit up.

See John West’s commitments for yourself here and Princes commitments here.

But tuna from ‘certified sustainable sources’ sounds good right? Actually no. It means tuna caught with FADs could still be allowed into tins. In the unregulated world of "certifying bodies", this loophole could allow O&P to shop around for the weakest certification in order to greenwash dirty tuna.

I’m sure you’d agree this would be a totally perverse result and take the industry back many, many years. Tesco is single-handedly trying to force the industry back in time to its ocean destruction days.

The thing is, not even the the biggest tuna companies have agreed to this loophole. So it’s hard to see why a small player like Oriental & Pacific couldn’t.

Lie number two:

Tesco have been busy responding to thousands of emails, phone calls and tweets with another whopper: That Oriental & Pacific’s new tuna policy mirrors the commitments adopted by other companies like John West, Princes, as well as Tesco itself.

Wrong again. Tesco’s own commitment is only to source 100% pole and line tuna - hardly a similar policy! But most importantly, this proposed commitment is so weak that Oriental & Pacific would still be at the bottom of our tinned tuna league table. That’s not much to celebrate.

Lie number three:

Last but not least is Tesco’s claim in tweets and emails that it was one of the first supermarkets to move its own brand tinned tuna to 100% pole and line. In fact it was one of the last. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and the Co-op all moved before them.

It seems that there is no limit to how low Tesco will go. It’s literally making things up hoping that no one notices. Well sorry Tesco, you’ve been busted!

CEO Philip Clarke – Tesco’s top man – recently said in response to falling market share that it will turn this around by ‘doing the right thing’ by customers. Given their lies, deceits and half-truths, how do you think they are doing?

Let Philip know directly by adding your name to the petition.


About Ariana

I’m Ariana and I’m an campaigner in the Oceans team at Greenpeace UK.  

interested? Follow me on twitter @arianadensham


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