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World’s largest tuna firm Thai Union announces pathbreaking environmental & labour reforms - moving toward full digital traceability

Following a global Greenpeace campaign to protect workers and marine life through reforms in the seafood industry, Thai Union announced new commitments, including efforts to support best practice fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices in its global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to markets.

According to Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid, “Thai Union has set a new standard for the seafood industry to deal with destructive fishing, labor abuse, and unethical practices.”

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Article
2 August 2017

Thailand: Govt. could take steps to eliminate destructive fishing & human rights abuses from seafood supply chains

Author: Tara Buakamsri, Myanmar Times

"Major Change for Thai Seafood Industry", 28 Jul 2017

Thailand is on the brink of making real progress toward the elimination of destructive fishing and human rights abuses in its seafood supply chains. As a potential yellow card de-listing from the European Commission looms, it remains to be seen whether the country will take the steps needed to fully meet the standards to eliminate human rights abuse in the seafood industry... At the UN Ocean Conference in New York this year, Thai delegates announced a voluntary commitment to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by rigorously controlling, monitoring, and inspecting all Thai-flagged fishing vessels operating inside and outside Thai waters... The key question is whether these reforms will help Thailand to remove the worst offenders from the water and result in a net positive impact for oceans and people, relieving some of the environmental pressure from overfishing and destructive fishing that helps to drive forced labour and illegal fishing. Product traceability and transparency in procurement are also vital to combating seafood fraud and the laundering of fish caught through IUU fishing and forced labour. Government regulations can only be effective if the industry actually gets on board... Following a global Greenpeace campaign and extensive dialogue, the world’s largest tuna company – Thai Union – recently agreed to a comprehensive set of reforms to help transform its supply chains. In doing so, the company also sent a strong signal to the broader tuna sector and seafood industry that the destructive and socially irresponsible status quo must come to an end...

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Article
11 July 2017

Tackling Tuna: How People Took On the Biggest Tuna Company and Won

Author: Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace (in National Geographic Ocean Views)

…Following two years of intense pressure by Greenpeace, environmentalists, labor unions, and human rights organizations, today Thai Union, the world’s largest tuna company, announced a breakthrough package of reforms that marks a new beginning for the seafood industry…

…Thai Union’s commitments to improve the sustainability of its seafood and help protect the workers who produce it will send ripples throughout supply chains involving many of the world’s largest seafood businesses, as well as fishing powers like China, Spain, France, Taiwan, Korea and the United States.

Thai Union will significantly reduce the amount of sharks, sea birds and turtles that are killed by the boats it sources from…

…Thai Union will develop a strict code of conduct for all vessels in its supply chain and will ensure those requirements are being met through third party audits that are publicly accessible…

…Thai Union will address this challenge by moving to full digital traceability, allowing people to track their tuna back to the vessel where it was caught and identify the fishing method used…

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Article
11 July 2017

Summary of Agreement

Author: Greenpeace and Thai Union Group

…Through this agreement, Thai Union has made significant and far-reaching commitments that aim to support current best practice fisheries, improve other fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices from global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to key markets. This package of reforms position the company well to help build the necessary momentum towards a more sustainable, socially responsible and transparent industry. The agreement is not a silver bullet that eliminates the tuna sector’s ecological and social footprint, but it presents an opportunity to begin to change the way tuna is caught and brought to market to help safeguard the future of impacted species and people.

The implementation of Thai Union’s commitments represents a significant new workload for Thai Union that will require approximately five additional staff and cost around US$750,000 in implementation per year. At the end of 2018, an independent third-party will review progress to-date on the commitments made in the agreement. Greenpeace supports the initiatives detailed in the agreement and will closely follow its progress and implementation…

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