The History of the Company
We were founded in Liverpool in 1861 by two local merchants, T L Pelling and C H Stanley, who gave the company its original name - Pelling Stanley and Company.
The partners soon recognised the potential of canned food, particularly Salmon, as an ideal food for workers in the industrial North of Britain and were the first to ship salmon from America to the United Kingdom in
By 1879 the partners were acting as agents for several different canned salmon brands in the U.K., one of which was John West, the rights to which they purchased in 1888 and the first shipments of
John West Salmon appeared in 1892.
Details on the origins of the name John West are somewhat obscure but it is known that John West was a Scotsman, probably from Linlithgow. Around the turn of the
century, two other companies were founded, which were also to become the current John West Foods - Angus Watson and Co. which introduced Skippers in the early 1900's and R B Green and Co.
By 1924, the
three companies, operating separately, were all associated with Unilever, through shares owned by the first Lord Leverhulme.
However, they were not completely merged until 1961, and the company name of
John West Foods did not appear until 1964.
Branches of the company were established overseas, in Australia in 1969 and Africa in 1974, whilst an export network was established which now trades with more
than 60 countries. John West Foods was acquired by H J Heinz in 1997, one of the world's largest grocery companies and is able to draw on the vast pool of knowledge and expertise which the Heinz network can provide.
This ensures that we keep abreast of the latest developments in food technology. The introduction of products such as fish in sauces, All Day Light Meals, Lunch Kits and Value Added Tuna products are good examples of
We have been selling Tuna since 1927 but the first John West canned Tuna appeared in the U.K. in 1952, laying the foundations for today's buoyant £155 million market, within which we
have consistently been the market leader.
We were also the first to introduce tuna chunks, tuna in brine and more recently tuna in sauces and tuna salads as well as tuna meals.
initiatives have all been in recognition of consumer demands for variety in a convenient, ready to eat format. (Please, refer to Tuna section for details).
Our Expertise and Experience
The, John West name is synonymous with quality and, as the leading brand in canned fish, we have amassed a wealth of information and expertise which enables us to
maintain our position at the forefront of the market. The worldwide network of suppliers we use is constantly checked and updated to ensure that only the finest products are packed for us. In addition, a regular
programme of inspections is maintained in all countries, to uphold the John West quality policy. (Please refer to Quality Assurance section for details).
We currently source products in more than 30
countries worldwide (see countries of origin in the products section) bringing only the best foods from around the world to U.K. tables.
This knowledge and expertise has been further enhanced following
our acquisition by H J Heinz the world's leading authority on Tuna, owning their own fishing fleets and canneries.
John West Foods is committed to sustaining the highest possible standards throughout the industry and takes a leading role within the imported canned food trade.
We have also led the canned fish industry in its negotiations with environmental groups and hold regular discussions with them to discuss the industry's commitment to environmental reforms. (Please refer
to Dolphin Friendly section for details).
Why Canned Fish?
Over the last few years, we have all changed in the way we live our lives. Increased pressure on our
time has led us to rely more on convenience foods.The healthy eating trend has encouraged us to adopt a more balanced approach to our diets and. an ever increasing array of foodstuffs on supermarket shelves has made us
even more discerning in terms of the choice, quality and taste appeal of the food we buy.
Canned fish has been around for many years, but it is perhaps more relevant to today's lifestyle than ever
before. Fish and seafoods share the advantages of being healthy foods, providing nutritional essentials, flavour and variety, but to these qualities, canning adds convenience. The very nature of the canning process
ensures that a product's natural freshness is maintained.
Only the finest fish are selected by John West, they are then canned and cooked to ensure all the flavourand goodness remains safely locked in.
(The special values and benefits of an Omega 3 rich diet are expanded on in Oil Rich Fish section)