Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Supplier Stories: Wild Planet

By Carly Price, March 9, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

Wild Planet always considers the interests of their most important stakeholders — the fish. “Ocean conservation is our first concern. We really view the fish as the major stakeholder,” says William Carvalho, who co-founded Wild Planet with Bill McCarthy in 2003.

After decades in the seafood industry, they decided to cast off common practices that negatively impact our oceans and angle for a more sustainable way of doing business that helps preserve healthy and abundant fish stocks.

“Being in the seafood industry isn't just about making money; it’s about participating in the stewardship of ocean harvest and providing food for people,” William says. “We feel a great responsibility to be an example in the industry . . . doing what is good for the planet.”

All packaged seafood from Wild Planet — including albacore tuna, skipjack tuna, sardines, salmon and shrimp — are sourced from fisheries deemed “best choices for sustainability” by environmental agencies, including Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, Blue Ocean Institute and others.

These fisheries utilize methods that virtually eliminate bycatch, which may include unwanted fish, sharks, rays, sea turtles, seabirds and other creatures that are unintentionally caught along with the target species.

Tuna is caught one fish at a time with pole and line or trolling; sardines and salmon are netted in single-species schools; and shrimp are harvested using mid-water trawling. Sourcing directly from fisheries also allows Wild Planet to control quality and assure traceability, which means every can of tuna is packed with plenty of rich flavor and beneficial omega-3s.

“We follow the fish all the way from the hook to the consumers' plate.”




Marian Specter says ...
Hello, Thank you for your responsible position regarding seafood. We count on you not to buy Atlantic salmon from Canada. Cooke Aquaculture of New Brunswick is currently trying to spread open net pen systems massively into Nova Scotia. This company has a very questionable track record vis-a-vis the environment. Their 3 top executives are currently on trial for illegal pesticide use on salmon that resulted in the death of thousands of lobsters.
03/14/2012 8:18:04 PM CDT
Lorraine Doodakan says ...
LOVE your products, however Can you Please tell me why your products are processed in Vietnam (Tuna)----Wild Sardines label states caught along the california coast "Sustainably"--but again lable states Processed in Vietnam....again love the flavors--do not like the shipping to another country for peocessing--please find a processing plant in the USA and make it really Sustainably as your lable saids...please feel free to email me. Thanks
03/14/2012 8:29:25 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Lorraine: Thanks for your feedback.
03/19/2012 12:34:38 PM CDT
Richard Onysko says ...
I agree with Lorraine, I'd rather see all operations accomplished domestically. Also, are cans BPA free and is olive oil or anything else used, organic?
03/20/2012 6:59:55 PM CDT
Maya M says ...
70% of domestic seafood is sourced from the Gulf of Mexico, waters that were and are still poisoned with oil, Corexit, and other dangerous chemical dispersants. go to facebook.com/realcoastalwarriors. wild sea life is washing up dead on beaches all over the globe--not sure if any of it -isn't- polluted. i am not at all concerned about food being processed in a US plant when the vast majority of US food companies & corporations are poisoning us all with GMO's in processed food and have been for decades. http://naturalrevolution.org
04/27/2013 8:25:15 PM CDT
Sherli says ...
I've been buying Raincoast canned tuna but stumbled upon Wild Planet. I like what I've read about your product. The can says, " processed in Vietnam." Why is this and what does it mean as far as being sustainable, safe. Thank you.
08/19/2013 10:28:33 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SHERLI - I would suggest reaching out to Wild Planet directly for their answer. You can find their contact info at http://www.wildplanetfoods.com/Contact-Us.html.
08/20/2013 8:13:55 AM CDT
Erin says ...
From their site FAQs: Why are Wild Planet tuna and sardines caught in the US but packed in Vietnam? "Unfortunately, there is no US sardine or tuna cannery capable of processing our volume requirements and the last sardine factory in the United States closed in 2010. In addition, the US cost of production would greatly increase the retail price beyond the reach of most families. Our goal is to make US-sourced sustainable seafood choices mainstream and thus have a greater impact on fishery harvest practices for the long-term good of ocean conservation. We have elected to process our 5oz cans of albacore and skipjack tuna as well as our sardines in a highly respected partner facility in Vietnam. This facility offers state-of-the-art canning expertise in an immaculately clean, accredited environment that produces higher quality finished products than any cannery we have seen in the US."
09/06/2013 5:45:52 PM CDT
James says ...
Really enjoyed a tuna sandwich made with Wild Planet brand albacore tuna. I have reservations about quality control in a communist country. We buy a lot of junk from China including food. I am wondering about the effects of the disaster at Fukishima on the waters of Southeast Asia. It is difficult to find someone who is trustworthy in such matters. Bureaucratic bungling seems to be a world wide epidemic. James
05/27/2014 8:00:52 PM CDT
A. Portillo says ...
I am concerned about your fish being processed in Viet Nam? Why do you do this? If your fish are not packaged under the laws of the USA, please advise. Also, are your can safe and free from BPA? Thank you in advance for your response.
06/16/2014 2:47:23 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@A. PORTILLO - I would suggest reaching out with Wild Planet directly at http://www.wildplanetfoods.com/ to better answer your questions.
06/16/2014 3:17:25 PM CDT
Pat says ...
Why is it packaged in Vietnam. I saw how dirty and unsanitary it is over there. I will never buy it again. Please package on th USA
06/27/2014 8:36:38 PM CDT
parveen says ...
is the mercury content of tuna in your tuna cans is the same as other canned tuna fish congratulations on you human way of treating fish. parveen
07/13/2014 7:34:06 PM CDT
s.galbraith says ...
I have searched many stores looking for caned Tuna in Olive oil Loved that one best. at cosco they have other varieties but not with olive oil. Can you help me? Thanks . You have a great product. umm!
08/01/2014 5:32:22 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@S.GALBRAITH - I would suggest reaching out to your local store, most locations should carry a canned tuna in olive oil.
08/04/2014 3:46:00 PM CDT
maura lundy says ...
are your sardines packed in BPA free containers? Thanks, Maura Lundy
09/12/2014 1:24:44 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MAURA- If you are checking with Wild Planet directly, I would suggest checking with them via their website. Otherwise, our 365 line of sardines will be in a BPA free can.
09/15/2014 3:06:38 PM CDT
Beverly Grau says ...
Please tell me do. You send your caught tuna to Asia to process?
05/20/2015 12:55:22 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BEVERLY - I would suggest reaching out to Wild Planet directly since they produce this product.
05/22/2015 3:59:23 PM CDT
Ruth Renwick says ...
So glad you started your company. I read Dr David Suzuki's article about sardines and learned about not eating that which was not fished sustainably..Ive looked around for guilt free fish..and found you! Now I will go to Whole Foods in Vancouver to buy my sardines.
10/06/2015 12:08:38 AM CDT