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4 Jun 2019

Kate Hodal, the Guardian

Major tuna brands failing to tackle slavery in Pacific supply chains – report

3 June 2019

The world’s biggest canned tuna brands are failing to tackle modern slavery in their Pacific supply chains, leaving thousands of workers at sea under threat of human rights abuses...

According to findings published...by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), an international corporate watchdog, only four of the world’s 35 largest tuna retail brands said they conducted due diligence with the specific aim of uncovering modern slavery in their supply chains...only 20% said they had mapped out their supply chains in full, and just 8% stated that they require their subcontractors to enforce their modern slavery policies throughout their supply chains...

The NGO contacted 35 canned tuna companies and supermarkets by survey between November 2018 and January 2019. Together, the companies and supermarkets represent 80 of the world’s largest retailed canned tuna brands, including Aldi, Bumble Bee Foods, Kroger and Thai Union Group.

The survey asked tuna companies about the human rights challenges, among them modern slavery, that they face in their supply chains. Only 20 of the 35 companies responded (their responses can be seen here)...

Although two-thirds of the companies ...had corporate human rights policies, there was little to no action to implement those policies, the report claims. And despite recurrent reports of abuse at sea, not one company surveyed disclosed having found a single example of modern slavery in their supply chains, says BHRRC’s executive director, Phil Bloomer...

BHRRC’s Sinclair said that “far more collaboration” was needed between brands and external stakeholders – particularly workers and their unions – “to ensure companies develop, implement and embed meaningful and effective responses to end modern slavery at sea”.