US class action lawsuit filed against Costco & CP Foods for selling prawns allegedly derived from slavery

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Article
18 August 2015

Class action complaint

Author: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

[Full text of the complaint]

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Article
19 August 2015

Costco and CP Foods face lawsuit over alleged slavery in prawn supply chain

Author: Felicity Lawrence, Guardian (UK)

Three California law firms are seeking an injunction to stop the US retail chain Costco selling prawns unless they are labelled as the produce of slavery. The firms have filed a class action lawsuit against Costco and its Thai seafood supplier, alleging that Costco knowingly sold prawns from a supply chain tainted by slavery. The claim, lodged in the federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, alleges that Costco has for several years bought and resold farmed prawns from the leading Thai food group CP Foods…that have sourced the raw material for their feed from ships manned by slaves…Costco said in a statement: “…Costco Wholesale has been working with and will continue to work with various stakeholders…to address the issues that have surfaced…[A]ll of our customers know that if they are dissatisfied with any purchase…they can return the item for a full refund.”…CP Foods said last year that it condemned all trafficking and slavery in the strongest possible terms…

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Article
19 August 2015

Costco Taken to Court for Knowingly Selling Slave Labor Shrimp to Unsuspecting Californians

Author: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court this morning, the product of slave labor has found its way onto the dinner plates of California consumers who buy frozen farmed prawns and frozen meals from Costco and from Costco’s supplier CP Foods…The complaint charges that Costco is aware that the farmed prawns it purchases from Southeast Asian producers, including Defendant CP Foods, and then resells to California consumers, is derived from documented slavery, human trafficking and other illegal labor abuses…The Complaint seeks injunctive relief to prevent Costco and CP Foods from continuing to import and sell Thai frozen farmed prawns in California as long as the supply chain continues to be tainted by human rights abuses as well as restitution to customers who bought the tainted products. [Also refers to CP (Charoen Pokphand)]

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Article
28 August 2015

CP Foods reasserts its strong commitment to human rights and a sustainable supply chain

Author: Kosit Lohawatanakul, CP Foods

CP Foods condemns, in the strongest possible terms, all aspects of human trafficking and slavery, and we take this opportunity to reassert our strong commitment to human rights and a sustainable supply chain the company said in a statement on 24 August…In light of a recent lawsuit filed in California…CP Foods would like to provide further details on the actions we have been taking to ensure traceability and humane and sustainable practices throughout our shrimp supply chain. We believe that the lawsuit against CP Foods is entirely without merit, and we have taken significant measures to ensure that the practices that it describes are not a part of our business…The allegations relate to fishmeal – a small and diminishing ingredient of the feedstock that we feed to the shrimp at our shrimp farms.  We are committed to and have implemented steps to allow us trace the origin of the fishmeal that we buy back to individual fishing vessels…

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