Thai Union Group (TU) today announced an international consultation programme with key stakeholders as part of its Sea Change sustainability strategy.
The consultation will take place from early March to the end of June 2016 and engage customers, partners, NGOs, industry organisations, regulators, policymakers and suppliers. Feedback will be through a combination of face-to-face meetings and online.
A microsite – www.thaiunion-sustainability.com – providing details of Sea Change will be launched while the consultation programme is underway and updated with full information of programmes and initiatives in July 2016.
Dr Darian McBain, TUG’ s global director of sustainable development said: “We have been working with partners and NGOs in Thailand on improving labour conditions for Thai and migrant supply chain workers and found that partnership and open engagement with all parties delivers practical and meaningful improvements.
“We are now extending this approach to key international stakeholders across a broad range of issues facing the global fishing industry so that our sustainability action plans benefit from expertise and knowledge beyond our own.”
Dr McBain said the company developed Sea Change to address pressing needs in the Thai fishing and global seafood industries. It worked closely with NGOs - including Project Issara, the Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) and the Labour Promotion Network (LPN) - during its first stage addressing labour rights. Thai Union now wants input from the wider industry, intergovernmental and NGO community in shaping other plans to address issues including marine conservation, traceability, and illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
“We all have an interest in ensuring seas are fished sustainably now and in the future. This can only be done when seafood is sourced from vessels which observe all laws and regulations, and operate legally and responsibly. In addition, our workers, wherever they may be, are entitled to safe, legal and secure employment. These issues will be addressed by our Sea Change strategy. ”
Sea Change comprises four key programmes - responsible sourcing, marine conservation, safe and legal labour, and caring for our communities. Each has goals and a supporting 2020 action plan. The company credits its partnerships with key NGOs as a key factor in the progress it has made in recent years.