Wild Planet: Celebrating 20 Years of Sustainable Canned Seafood

Wild Planet: Celebrating 20 Years of Sustainable Canned Seafood

Wild Planet has been crafting delicious, nutritious, sustainably caught canned seafood for 20 years. We partner with dedicated fishermen who share our commitment to pushing boundaries and forging new paths in the industry. Come explore our journey and celebrate with us as we look forward to the next 20 years!

Wild Planet timeline: 20 years at a glance

We cannot believe it’s been 20 years!

Since our founding in 2004 to today and every day in between, all of us here at Wild Planet have been guided by our true north, which is a deep-rooted reverence for oceans and the lives they sustain. Every decision we make and every action we take is done with a thought toward how we can make a positive impact so that our oceans can continue to thrive today and importantly, for many generations to come. Will the legacy of our society be a gift or a crisis? What kind of ancestors will we be? Wild Planet takes these questions to heart and they are paramount to the dedicated employees who work here and likely to you, our wonderfully passionate consumers.

On this very important 20th anniversary, we want to share some reflections on key milestones that Wild Planet has had; milestones that have been instrumental not only in making us the original sustainable canned seafood company, but also a thought leader in the canned seafood category.

We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and we thank you for being part of this magnificent journey. 

Wild Planet timeline 2001: A visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium changes everything

Our Founder, Bill Carvalho, spends the afternoon with his wife and three young children at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and during that visit, the trajectory of his life changes. He comes upon an exhibit called Oceans in Crisis that tells the story of oceans being at their breaking point, of wasteful fishing practices and of an industry that was ripe for reform. Bill is extremely moved by this experience and realizes he needs to be part of the solution. The groundwork is laid to completely reimagine and restructure his existing seafood company, Carvalho Fisheries. Going forward, Bill will only utilize sustainable, selective harvesting practices. This is not the easy way or the most cost-efficient way to run a canned seafood business, but he believes it is the right way…and he and the team have been doing it this way ever since.

Wild Planet timeline 2004: Wild Planet is born

The Wild Planet brand is officially introduced and becomes the focus of Bill’s seafood business. The “Wild Planet” name was chosen because it communicates that our planet is the most balanced and productive when it is in its wildest state. The product that Wild Planet launches with is Wild Albacore Tuna. Still our best seller 20 years later, this product is exceptional in its taste, quality and nutrition. Sustainably pole & line caught then hand-cut, hand-packed and once-cooked to preserve the natural flavor and nutrients of the tuna steak (just like how Bill’s Portuguese grandmother prepared tuna for him while growing up), it delivers what many of you believe is an unparalleled tuna experience. We agree!

Wild Planet timeline 2005: Partnership begins with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program

While many certifications exist in the canned seafood industry, there is one that reigns supreme and that is Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. This program assesses how specific fisheries perform against rigorous sustainability standards and then ranks each fishery as Green, Yellow or Red accordingly. Wild Planet commits itself to only procuring from Green or Yellow fisheries that utilize sustainable practices. This commitment holds true to this day.

Wild Planet timeline 2008: The product line expands to include salmon

While tuna was the foundation upon which Wild Planet was built, it is so well received that consumers start looking to Wild Planet for additional products. Given the popularity of salmon in the US, introducing a delicious canned salmon option becomes the logical choice to expand the brand’s sustainable seafood footprint. Sustainably caught by small-scale fishing families in Alaska, Wild Planet delivers flavorful and nutrient-rich Pink and Sockeye canned salmon to eager consumers and sets a new standard for how delicious canned salmon can be. As seen in this picture, not only is it a loved salmon brand on Earth, but it is also a popular choice when taking a ride on the International Space Station.

Wild Planet timeline 2008: André Kuipers, Physician and European Space Agency Astronaut

Wild Planet timeline 2010: Launch of sardines supports eating lower on the food chain

With today’s extreme cultural popularity of sardines, it may seem hard to believe that 15 years ago the idea of launching a line of sardines was almost unthinkable. What consumer was going to buy them? However, as part of the commitment to ensuring a thriving oceanic ecosystem, Wild Planet understands that promoting the importance of eating lower on the food chain is a critical step in maintaining ocean health. Sardines and other small fish like anchovies and mackerel are extremely abundant and nutrient dense on top of being incredibly versatile and flavorful. With a leap of faith and a commitment to having a family of products that reflect the brand’s values, Wild Planet launches a line of sardines that sits side by side with its Wild Tuna and Wild Salmon products. Today, Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is our second best-selling item.

Wild Planet timeline 2010: Bill Carvalho, Founder of Wild Planet (left) and Tim Fiorino, Executive Vice President and Country Manager of Wild Planet (right)

Wild Planet timeline 2012: Transparency becomes a hallmark of our supply chain

Wild Planet is deeply involved in the fish selection process from dock to shelf. We know the fishermen, boats and boat owners that selectively harvest the high-quality seafood we sell. Through our partnership with Trace Register, we are able to establish traceability standards and track each boatload of fish from the moment they reach the dock until they are delivered to grocery stores across the country.

Wild Planet timeline 2015 and 2017: Greenpeace recognizes Wild Planet as #1 (number one)

Since the beginning, Wild Planet has worked hard to live its principles and that means never settling when it comes to product quality, nutrition and importantly, sustainable fishing practices. Greenpeace USA evaluates Wild Planet against every other canned tuna brand in the country and ranks it #1 for sustainability standards. This is an achievement we are incredibly proud of and it’s an honor to have won repeatedly. To this day, Wild Planet still holds this leadership position.

Wild Planet timeline 2015 and 2017: Greenpeace Tuna Shopping Guide

Wild Planet timeline 2018: Whole Foods recognizes Wild Planet with its most esteemed awards

In its annual tradition of acknowledging brands who are making a difference, Whole Foods Market names Wild Planet as Supplier of the Year and gives the brand the Environmental Stewardship Award. These awards consider brands from every category sold at Whole Foods, making the significance of the win even more profound. This achievement cements Wild Planet’s leadership position in the canned seafood category.

Wild Planet timeline 2018: From left to right, Bill Carvalho, Founder of Wild Planet, AnaMarie Friede, Executive Leader and Director of Whole Foods Market, Terry Hunt, Former CEO of Wild Planet, Karen Harbour, Vice Presdent of Sales of Wild Planet

Wild Planet timeline 2021: Wild Planet re-imagines tuna salad

Always an industry innovator and thought leader, Wild Planet launches an entirely new line of products that elevates the idea of what a tuna salad can be. Completely ready to eat with no refrigeration, heating or any preparation required, this new line of Tuna Salads blends pole & line caught tuna with a medley of organic vegetables, grains and legumes. The result is a perfectly delicious and nutritious snack or light meal that is sure to satisfy.

Wild Planet timeline 2023: new salmon and mackerel products launch

Smoked products are not only really popular, but they are also incredibly delicious. Always looking for ways to introduce more seafood to the American diet, Wild Planet launches Wild Smoked Salmon and Wild Smoked Mackerel. These new items provide a sophisticated twist on products that have historically been fan favorites. If you like our classic Wild Salmon and Wild Mackerel, you’re going to love these new, smoky seafood options.

Wild Planet timeline 2024: Celebrating the past and shaping the future

In our 20th year of bringing the best sustainable seafood to consumers, we will not only celebrate, but we will also look for ways to shape the future. We have been hard at work evaluating our carbon footprint and are establishing best-in-class carbon reduction goals. We will continue to source packaging materials from secondary (re-used and recycled) sources wherever feasible and we will participate in ocean-positive initiatives that align with our brand’s philosophies.

From Day 1, Wild Planet has prioritized building a brand that is committed to making certain that our children and our grandchildren can experience our oceans and the gifts they give. This goal has not changed and we will not waver. Rather, we remain focused and look forward to what the next 20 years will bring.

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