The move, announced by Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy at a conference last week, is intended to give a major boost to the island’s fishing industry. Around half of the Sri Lankan fishing fleet was destroyed by the tsunami.
Sir Terry said: “In the immediate days after the tsunami struck, the priority was aid. But it has become increasingly clear that the task of reconstruction will depend just as much on trade. Before
the tsunami, Tesco bought around £5m of tuna from Sri Lanka per year. Over the coming year, we are aiming to increase that by as much as 30%.”
Fresh tuna is increasingly popular with the British public both in retail and in restaurants.
Sri Lanka currently produces around 4,000 tonnes of tuna a year.