“We congratulate Nestlé both for its initiative, and the progress it has achieved,” said Thai Union Global Director of Sustainable Development, Dr. Darian McBain. “We believe a shared effort involving all parties will be necessary to accomplish our shared goal of making trafficking economically unviable for those who practice it.
Dr McBain said the company agreed with Nestlé on the vital role of traceability in eliminating abuses in the seafood supply chain.
“Thai Union has implemented a system providing full traceability from catch to consumption. In Thailand suppliers must provide proof of catch, as well as detailed information on the vessels used, the crew employed, and fishing logbooks. In addition, any supplier found to be in violation of our stringent Code of Conduct – which explicitly prohibits forced labor and which enforces a zero tolerance policy – will have their contract terminated. It was these requirements that enabled us to assess traceability and employment conditions on all 270 vessels currently supplying fish to Nestlé’s supply chain.”
Dr. McBain welcomed Nestlé’s engagement with the Issara Institute.
“Our work with Issara Institute has expanded rapidly over the last 12 months and now entails a regional partnership across a wide range of engagements. This year we will be completing the roll out of workers’ hotline details from the current four sites to all factories and ports used by Thai Union. We will also be supporting the development of a mobile phone application to increase the ease with which workers can communicate concerns, participating in the Project Issara working group on migrant workers and engaging together with Thai union’s suppliers regarding labor risks. The more partners in the industry can cooperate with reputable external parties such as Issara Institute, the greater the benefit to workers and the industry as a whole.”
Dr. McBain also welcomed the initiative of the Royal Thai Government, led by the Department of Fisheries to establish a Demonstration Boat which will act as a mobile training facility for best practice on fishing vessels. Thai Union, together with Nestlé will contribute to renovation costs of the boat which will conduct training sessions at port and fish market locations around Thailand to help vessel crews and captains understand how they can achieve the necessary compliance with Thai and international regulations.
“It is a forward-looking, targeted initiative, delivering vital training directly to the people who can benefit the most from the knowledge that is shared.”