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Thai Union Makes Positive Progress on Agreement with Greenpeace for More Sustainable, Socially-Responsible Seafood


BANGKOK  – WEBWIRE

Thai Union Group PCL has made substantial, positive progress on its commitment to implement measures that tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout its supply chains, as outlined in the company’s landmark agreement with Greenpeace.

The agreement between Thai Union and Greenpeace was originally announced in July 2017. Thai Union committed to build upon its SeaChange® sustainability strategy, including efforts to support best practice fisheries, improve other fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices in its global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to key markets.

“Thai Union is working hard to drive strong, positive change throughout many parts of the seafood industry. The original agreement contained an ambitious set of commitments to deliver improvements in Thai Union supply chains for the benefit of our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry. There is much work still to do, but it’s clear the company takes its commitments seriously and is making progress to deliver them,” said Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner Oliver Knowles. “It is now time for other companies to step up and show similar leadership, so that we can increase the pace of change to protect the oceans and seafood workers.”

Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s Global Director for Sustainable Development, echoed Greenpeace’s clarion call for collaboration. “These changes are critical, however no single entity can do it alone. Collaboration is key. As we move forward, it is incumbent upon others in the industry to join in and help lead the world in this fight. We do this, in part, through genuine political will, multi-party cooperation, and resolute, uncompromising determination. If we work together, we will go much further, much faster.”

Since the agreement was reached, Thai Union can tout a number of significant achievements, including:

  • The release of a Vessel Code of Conduct, developed in collaboration with Greenpeace and the International Transport Workers’ Federation;
  • The implementation of an innovative digital traceability pilot program to deliver worker voice and connectivity at sea, boosting human rights in the seafood industry;
    1. Support for subsequent new regulation from the Thai government requiring Thai vessel owners operating outside of national waters to provide a satellite communication system and device onboard for workers at sea, similar to what was trialed in the company’s pilot program;

  • Initiating an e-observer program in the Pacific Ocean with long line vessels;
  • Issuance of guidance to suppliers on bycatch management;
  • Ongoing work through a fishery improvement projects program and advocacy to improve fisheries management;
  • Joining the Global Ghost Gear Initiative in a drive to address marine plastic pollution and reduce the growing problem of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear/fish aggregating devices worldwide;
  • Clearly communicating to suppliers and the fleets the FAD reduction goals, and a reduction in the number of FADs being utilized by fleets from which Thai Union sources. Thai Union suppliers are below the maximum number of FADs allowed by the Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs).

A more detailed update can be downloaded in this report.

Additionally, Thai Union and Greenpeace will continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue on how both organizations can coordinate to address the sustainability of the ocean and marine life, as well as protect human rights. At the conclusion of 2018, an independent third party will review and publicly report on progress-to-date on the commitments.

“Thai Union has raised the bar and set many new standards for the rest of the seafood industry to follow in dealing with destructive fishing, labor abuse, and unethical practices,” Knowles said. “Hundreds of thousands of people around the world who want the seafood industry to take stronger action to eliminate these problems are watching Thai Union’s progress and they expect other seafood companies to follow their lead to help ensure real changes on the water. Now is the time for those companies to step up too.”
 

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ABOUT THAI UNION GROUP
Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 135 billion (US$ 4.03 billion) and a global workforce of over 49,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy.

Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets (DJSI) in 2014. In 2017, Thai Union was named to the DJSI for the fourth consecutive year. Thai Union is also part of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index.


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