Thai Union 2018 Summary In-Cash and In-Kind Contribution
Thai Union has implemented a range of initiatives and programs where we operate, in line with our
sustainability strategy and the SDGs. These programs respond to stakeholder and community needs.
In summary, Thai Union has made contributions of THB 108.76 million, and in the form of in-kind giving
of THB 1,737,636 in 2018. Our employees, including our CEO and executives, have volunteered for a
total of 3,031 hours.
People and Communities is an important pillar of Thai Union’s sustainability strategy, SeaChange®.
People and Communities is an important pillar of Thai Union’s sustainability strategy, SeaChange®.
The work the company undertakes in line with this pillar aims to improve the lives of those living and
working in the regions in which Thai Union operates. Further, it often helps to contribute to the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
One example of our community involvement in the Pracharat Project—a project coordinated by the
Thai Government. For the past year, Thai Union has been actively involved in three programs with
the project which aim to improve the lives of the local community, as well as boost the education
standards of children from 30 schools in across the Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Phetchaburi
and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces where the company operates in Thailand.
In 2018, we continued installing the solar rooftop at Thai Union Manufacturing (TUM) and Songkhla Canning.
In 2018, we continued installing the solar rooftop at Thai Union Manufacturing (TUM) and Songkhla Canning (SCC) with power capacity 0.6 and 1 MW respectively. For these two projects, Thai Union will consume electricity from renewable energy sources of around 2,000,000 kWh/y and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,100 tons CO2/y. We expect to install at least 20 MW in total by 2019.
During 2018, Thai Union initiated a number of water reduction programs.
During 2018, Thai Union initiated a number of water reduction programs, particularly around reusing and recycling of water in our production processes. The results of these programs were significant, with a reduction in water consumption of more than 160,000 m3 in Europe and the U.S., and 700,000 m3 in Asia.
Since 2016, Thai Union has reduced its water consumption around the world by 1.9 million m3.
Thai Union developed several waste to landfill reduction programs around the world in 2018.
Thai Union developed several waste to landfill reduction programs in 2018 which were implemented at a number of locations around the world. At Pak Food Asia and Thai Union Seafood used fertilizer made from wastewater sludge for planting trees, while at Songkla Canning they introduced a recycling process for contaminated plastic that previously went to landfill. Other programs were also introduced in Poland and Ghana. As a result, Thai Union has reduced its waste to landfill by more than 17,000 tons since 2016.
We continuously look to identify suppliers that can utilize or transform our waste and byproducts into energy for use in their processes.
Thai Union puts effort into segregating, reusing and recycling our waste to reduce the volume that goes to the landfill. We continuously look to identify suppliers that can utilize or transform our waste and byproducts into energy for use in their processes.
For example, we send our stickers, which normally go to the landfill, to one of our suppliers for energy production. At Songkla Canning, we reduced the amount of sludge going to the landfill from our wastewater treatment plant by about 28 percent in 2017; this was done by returning an optimized volume of sludge to a digester tank.
Employees’ skills and competencies are significant factors in building a culture of safety at Thai Union.
We realize that employees’ skills and competencies are significant factors in building a culture of safety at Thai Union. As such, we established the Center of Excellence in Thailand: Environment, Health and Safety in February 2017 to serve as the EHS learning hub for all Thai Union employees. More than 3,000 employees participated in the center’s courses in 2017, which are offered in Thai, English and Burmese to better facilitate the comprehension of our diverse employees. In 2018, we plan to expand our EHS capacity building services to the public by making them available to other Thai and migrant workers in the region. We hope this will improve the EHS awareness, skills and competencies of people outside Thai Union, too, especially among migrant workers.
Sustainable packaging will help achieve Thai Union’s goals for carbon footprint reduction and environmentally-friendly packaging.
Sustainable packaging is an important element of our innovation work. As part of our Global Innovation Incubator’s science and research pillar, we investigate and develop technological advancements to improve the sustainability and convenience of product packaging. By exploring sustainable packaging in our innovation research, we ensure a continuous pipeline of improvements, which will help achieve Thai Union’s goals for carbon footprint reduction and environmentally-friendly packaging.
Thai Union knew that putting solar panels on the unused rooftops of our production plants would create benefits.
Thai Union knew that putting solar panels on the unused rooftops of our production plants would create benefits for the countries where our plants are located by increasing the national proportion of alternative energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With this in mind, we surveyed our plants’ rooftops in several countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Seychelles, and we identified many appropriate sites for implementation.
In 2017, the first location we selected for a pilot Power Purchased Agreement (PPA) project was Thai Union Factory’s 10,000 square meter cold storage rooftop in Samut Sakhon Province. We chose this facility for its high level of energy production at 3,300 kWh per day, and because the electrical load is steady enough for day-to-day operations and the roof is newer, compared to other locations. As part of the project, we installed 2,970 solar panels with a total power capacity of 935.55 kWh— approximately 1,300,000 kWh per year—which can reduce GHG emissions by 720 tons of CO2 equivalent per year. The project also reduced accumulated heat in the plant’s buildings, and thus air conditioning power consumption.
In 25 years, the total renewable energy produced from this solar rooftop project will be approximately 33,123,000 kWh, and the total GHG emissions reduction will be about 19,000 tons. The success of this pilot project serves as a model for other organizations and has generated significant interest for site visits from domestic and international government and private sector representatives.
Thai Union assessed our workplace to identify any potential improvements to our employees’ safety in 2017.
Thai Union assessed our workplace to identify any potential improvements to our employees’ safety in 2017. We believe a safe workplace begins with the right safety design. Several engineering projects were executed in 2017 to improve our workplace safety, including fire protection, machine safety, ergonomics and a safe refrigeration system. To help implement our workplace safety design, we issued Thai Union guidelines demonstrating the principles of “Doing-Right-at- First,” which covers the required steps of the project’s execution and ensures integration of safety considerations.
Thai Union officially broke ground on a wastewater and biogas project at our Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) Seychelles facility.
Thai Union, in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), officially broke ground on a wastewater and biogas project at our Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) Seychelles facility in 2017. This project will cut carbon emissions and reduce energy costs while generating clean electricity and cleaner wastewater. CCI, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, has been working with Thai Union to provide technical and advisory support on the project since 2013.
This project will address a number of clean energy needs:
The company sought to better understand the full lifecycle of packaging materials by comparing metal to plastic.
Because of the increasing profile of environmental issues, such as food waste, climate change and ocean plastic, John West continually challenges themselves to consider any future packaging development from as many different perspectives as possible, not just consumers. That is why Thai Union decided to work with a third-party industry expert to better understand the full lifecycle of packaging materials by comparing metal to plastic.
Thai Union has to demonstrate responsibility in developing consumer-led packaging solutions that drive greater relevance while considering environmental impacts in the process. Partnering with an independent LCA expert like RDC Environment has already significantly informed our understanding of sustainable packaging, and this new approach will be used to shape future thinking on global packaging development.
Thai Union joined forces with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to address problems of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear worldwide.
Thai Union joined forces with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in 2018 in a drive to reduce the growing problem of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) worldwide.
The GGGI is an alliance founded by World Animal Protection in 2015, dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear at a global scale. The GGGI’s strength lies in the diversity of its participants including the fishing industry, the private sector, academia, governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Every participant has a critical role to play to mitigate ghost gear locally, regionally and globally.
Thai Union’s participation in the GGGI reflects its commitment to combat marine plastic pollution.
Thai Union and WWF-UK released an annual progress report on their European partnership in 2018.
Since 2014, Thai Union and WWF have been working together in Europe to deliver the commitments in the WWF ‘Seafood Charter’, which focuses on improving the sustainability of seafood supply chains. This work is supported globally through Thai Union’s SeaChange® sustainability strategy and its tuna commitment. Thai Union has pledged to source 100 percent of its branded tuna from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council certified or engaged in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and is investing $90 million into this work.
A key part of the partnership, FIPs involve collaboration between all the stakeholders in a particular fishery—including fishing vessel operators, government-run fishing authorities, processors and non-governmental organisations. They use private sector power and market forces to make specific improvements to a fishery, with the ultimate aim of achieving the MSC standard.
By the end of 2017, Thai Union had launched two FIPs focussed on purse seine caught yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack tuna, in the Indian and Eastern Atlantic Oceans, working alongside a number of industry participants. This progress means that approximately 85 percent of the tuna being sold by Thai Union brands in Europe is sourced from a FIP. The full report can be found here.
To promote transparency, Thai Union announced it would provide this progress report annually.
In May 2018, Thai Union released its first annual Tuna Commitment Progress Report to provide a public update on its ambitious strategy to ensure 100 percent of the company’s branded tuna is sustainably sourced, with a target of achieving a minimum of 75 percent by 2020, in line with the company’s SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Thai Union’s Tuna Commitment also comprises an investment of USD $90 million in initiatives that will increase the supply of sustainable tuna, including the establishment of 11 new fishery improvement projects (FIPs) around the world to guarantee sustainable fish stocks, minimized environmental impacts and improved management in those fisheries.
Thai Union has made substantial, positive progress in 2018 on its commitment as outlined in the company’s landmark agreement with Greenpeace.
Thai Union has made substantial, positive progress in 2018 on its commitment to implement measures that tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout its supply chains, as outlined in the company’s landmark agreement with Greenpeace.
The agreement between Thai Union and Greenpeace was originally announced in July 2017. Thai Union committed to build upon its SeaChange® sustainability strategy, including efforts to support best practice fisheries, improve other fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices in its global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to key markets.
“Thai Union is working hard to drive strong, positive change throughout many parts of the seafood industry. The original agreement contained an ambitious set of commitments to deliver improvements in Thai Union supply chains for the benefit of our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry. There is much work still to do, but it’s clear the company takes its commitments seriously and is making progress to deliver them,” said Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner Oliver Knowles. “It is now time for other companies to step up and show similar leadership, so that we can increase the pace of change to protect the oceans and seafood workers.”
As part of a personal commitment to improving the sustainability of oceans, Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union, competed in the Virgin London Marathon
As part of a personal commitment to improving the long-term sustainability of the oceans, Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union, competed in the Virgin London Marathon in April 2017 and raised 322,000 Thai Baht—approximately $10,000—for WWF-UK. The amount represented more than three times his fundraising goal. The race took place on a beautiful spring day in London, with the challenging 26-mile course winding by some of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Chansiri crossed the finish line on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in four hours and 28 minutes.
Additionally, in December 2017 Chansiri ran 106 kilometers and raised 14 million Thai Baht—approximately $429,000—for Thai rock star Artiwara Kong-malai’s charity run, which supported the “Kaokonlakao for 11 Hospitals Nationwide” project.
In 2017, Thai Union launched a tuna fishery improvement project in the Indian Ocean with a series of other stakeholders.
In 2017, Thai Union launched a tuna fishery improvement project (FIP) in the Indian Ocean with a series of other stakeholders, including seafood companies. This project addresses the majority of European Union-, Seychelles- and Mauritius-flagged purse seine vessels fishing for tropical tuna in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean tuna purse seine FIP is important as it facilitates the development, discussion, implementation and monitoring of measures to improve management of the three most important commercial tropical tuna species in the Indian Ocean. This FIP works toward Thai Union’s Tuna Commitment as well as seafood sustainability commitments as part of our partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The event was hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos, an active Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries.
In January 2018, Thai Union brought together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), sustainability experts, NGOs and industry representatives to discuss how best to join forces to drive positive change across the seafood industry. A high-level stakeholder event, organized in the European Parliament, marked the launch of a week-long exhibition on SeaChange®. During this period, visitors had the opportunity to learn about sustainability challenges in the seafood and fishing industry through a diverse range of panels, infographics and videos. The launch event welcomed more than 60 high-level representatives of the political, NGO and industry spheres with responsibilities in the field of fisheries, sustainability, trade and employment.
The event was hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos, an active Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries, who applauded Thai Union’s leadership.
Thai Union committed to measures that will tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers.
In 2017, Thai Union committed to measures that will tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the company’s supply chains. Thai Union’s new commitments build upon its sustainability strategy SeaChange®, including efforts to support best practice fisheries, improve other fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices in its global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to key markets.
“This marks huge progress for our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid. “If Thai Union implements these reforms, it will pressure other industry players to show the same level of ambition and drive much needed change. Now is the time for other companies to step up, and show similar leadership.”
Click here to learn more.
The Declaration supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by all 193 Heads of State via a UN Resolution in September 2015.
At a 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in New York City, Thai Union committed to the WEF’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration. The Declaration supports the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by all 193 Heads of State via a UN Resolution in September 2015. The Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration has been endorsed by leaders of the world’s biggest retailers, tuna processors, marketers, traders and harvesters, with the support of influential civil society organizations and governments. The entities endorsing the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration have committed to concrete actions and partnerships to implement the Declaration and its Action Agenda.
Thai Union donated $50,000 to fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in East Indonesia in 2017.
Thai Union donated $50,000 to fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in East Indonesia in 2017. The donation supports pole-and-line fisheries as well as overall sustainability for skipjack and yellowfin tuna stocks. It will help bring together leading stakeholders in Indonesia—including industry, fishermen, government, non-governmental organizations and academia—to work collaboratively toward sustainability and influence change in the ocean through the implementation of various sustainability and responsible sourcing programs across the tuna supply chains.
The program helps our partner farms improve their farm management practices and address key technical improvements and conditions.
Thai Union has provided a capacity building program to our partner farms to help them improve their farm management practices to meet the standards of BAP; Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC), SEASAIP’s lead organization; SEASAIP; and ASC. We also assisted our partner farms in addressing key technical improvements and conditions set by these standards, such as legal compliance, labor management, biosecurity, disease control and water management.
The workshops brought together vessel owners, captains, crew supervisors, crew members and other staff of suppliers.
Thai Union, in partnership with International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), in 2018 began to host health and safety training workshops for its suppliers as part of the company’s Capacity Building for Fisher Safety at Sea Program.
Thai Union’s Capacity Building for Fisher Safety at Sea Program has been recognized as part of the capacity building initiative within the ILO Ship to Shore Program funded by the European Union which works closely with the Thai Government.
Thai Union completed its first industry collaborative third-party audit, conducted by global safety consulting and certification company UL.
Thai Union, with the support of several of its customers, recently completed its first industry collaborative third-party audit, conducted by global safety consulting and certification company UL, on some Thai commercial fishing vessels supplying the company’s business. The third-party audit was conducted in line with SeaChange®, to drive meaningful improvements across the entire global seafood industry. It included 240 vessels in its sample size and helped identify potential labor and human rights abuses, as well as to improve performance of the Thai fleet by creating a targeted action plan based on its results.
CEOs and business leaders advise governments on how to prevent and combat human trafficking, modern slavery and related abuses.
Held in Perth, Australia in August 2017, Thai Union participated in the Bali Process Government and Business Forum, which allows governments to better engage the private sector to combat human trafficking, forced labor and related exploitation. Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s Global Director for Sustainable Development, participated in two speaking panels addressing issues of modern slavery in supply chains. She also had the opportunity to deliver a floor statement highlighting Thai Union’s efforts to eradicate these exploitative issues. In 2018, Thai Union participated in the second annual Bali Process Government and Business Forum as well.
The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) has raised regional awareness of these namesake human rights issues. It is a forum for policy dialogue, information sharing and practical cooperation to help the region address these challenges.
Learn about the latest progress on our activities to eliminate modern slavery and forced labor within our operations and supply chains.
Find the latest progress on our activities to eliminate modern slavery and forced labor within our operations and supply chains in the UK Modern Slavery Act Statement 2017 by clicking here.
Regulation requires Thai vessel owners to provide a satellite communication system and device onboard for workers at sea outside national waters.
Thai Union supported 2018 regulation from the Thai government requiring Thai vessel owners operating outside of national waters to provide a satellite communication system and device onboard for workers at sea. The regulation (Ministerial Regulation on Labor Protection in Sea Fishing Work (No. 2) B.E. 2561) states the system must be able to support the transmission of at least a 1 MB text message per person per month for at least one-fourth of workers onboard, and the employer must pay for these devices. The initiative aims to enhance the quality of life for captain and crew by providing a channel of communication to contact families or make a complaint and report any problems that might have occurred at sea.
The development reflects the government’s commitment to protect workers in the fisheries sector from falling victim to forced labor and human trafficking, to improve the management of labor in Thai fisheries to be more effective and to work toward the ratification of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention (C188).
Innovative digital traceability pilot project helped promote digital traceability, as well as boost human rights and worker voice in the seafood industry.
The pilot project has the potential to improve traceability and transparency throughout Thai waters, as well as the greater fishing industry since many issues in Thailand replicate themselves in other fishing communities around the world. State-of-the-art Inmarsat Fleet One terminals were successfully installed on fishing vessels in Thailand to promote digital traceability, which helps ensure more ethical and transparent seafood supply chains. Crew members, captains and fleet owners were empowered to use mobile phone chat applications to connect with families and peers around the world while at sea—an industry first for Thai fisheries. Click here to learn more in this short film.
Initiative raises awareness among boat owners, captains and crew of best practices to ensure the fair, safe and legal treatment of workers on vessels.
Thai Union and Nestlé in 2017 launched the successful first departure of a demonstration boat built to raise awareness among fishing boat owners, captains and crew of best practices to ensure the fair, safe and legal treatment of workers on vessels in the Thai fishing industry.
The two companies, in collaboration with Verité, renovated a standard Thai fishing boat, transforming it into a modern model with improved working conditions and labor standards on board. The initiative was originally created in March 2016, supported by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and the Thai Department of Fisheries (DOF). The vessel was renovated to meet standards set by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) C188 convention for human rights at sea, as well as to comply with Thailand’s updated fisheries regulations.
Thai Union's Vessel Code of Conduct reflects the unique set of working conditions on fishing vessels that necessitate special consideration.
In 2017, we introduced our Fishing Vessel Improvement Program and Vessel Code of Conduct, reflecting the unique set of working conditions on fishing vessels that necessitate special consideration. The Vessel Code of Conduct is an extension of the Thai Union Business Labor and Ethics Code of Conduct, which is built on 12 fundamental principles designed to reinforce a culture of integrity and is aligned with the United Nations Global Compact principles of basic responsibilities to people and upholding their basic rights. The 12 fundamental principles frame both codes because they apply to every part of Thai Union’s business. However, the VCoC features clauses specifically tailored for application to vessels. The VCoC is available to view here.
Our Business Ethics and Code of Conduct has been presented to all our suppliers and seeks to guarantee that all our suppliers adhere to Thai Union’s own standards.
In 2015 we updated our stringent Business Ethics and Labor Code of Conduct and in 2016 started rolling this out to suppliers globally. The aim is to promote higher levels of accountability and transparency throughout the supply chain and is applied to all of our group companies and business partners.
The Code of Conduct clearly sets out Thai Unions principles. These include requirements to ensure:
Any companies or suppliers who want to work with us must sign an acknowledgement of our Code of Conduct, confirming they will strictly adhere to our mandatory 12 principles.
Our Code of Conduct is available in 19 languages at http://www.thaiunion.com/en/sustainability/sustainability-at-thai-union/code-of-conduct
Thai Union has a helpline for workers to report any employment issues they might experience or witness, and receive immediate guidance and advice.
Since 2014 we have been partnering with the Issara Institute to improve the conditions for workers in Thailand. In 2015 we worked together to provide workers with access to Issara’s independent worker helpline – available in five languages – in our factories and ports and we continue to support the Issara Institute’s Inclusive Labor Monitoring Program in our own facilities and supply chains. For further information see http://www.projectissara.org/
For many years, Thai Union has been providing food relief to communities affected by natural disasters, including famines, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Thai Union regularly donates food to victims of natural disasters, working closely with partner organizations to ensure donations reach those in need.
In 2011 we donated 200,000 cans of tuna to the disaster relief campaign to help those who suffered in the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. In 2015, we donated 100,000 cans of SEALECT tuna and sardines to support earthquake victims in Nepal and an additional 50,000 cans of sardines and rice those who had suffered flooding in Myanmar. In 2016, we donated 100,000 cans of SEALECT sardines to support relief efforts for flood victims in the central region of Thailand.
In 2017, Thai Union donated 25,000 cans of mackerel to support flood victims in Sakon Nakhon province. Additionally Chicken of the Sea, in conjunction with the Royal Thai Embassy and with help from the Red Cross, has provided 200,000 meals to support the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Chicken of the Sea also partnered with Convoy of Hope to provide over 65,000 meals of shelf-stable seafood to people displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
Volunteers from Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods collected and released oysters, which helps filter the water at Bellport Bay.
As part of Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods’ employee engagement program at Bellport Bay, volunteers collected and released oysters, which help filter the water, in 2017. The team successfully took turns gathering, counting and measuring random samples, as well as identifying mortality levels. Each cage had between 470-630 oysters with a mortality rate of approximately 0-2 percent.
Thai Union organizes field trips to the Mangrove Forest Natural Education Center in Samut Sakhon for students of our preschools to plant mangroves.
Thai Union organized three field trips to the Mangrove Forest Natural Education Center in Samut Sakhon for students of our preschools to plant mangroves in 2017 and another four in 2018.
Hundreds of students put down their pencils and roll up their sleeves to jump in the mud, all in the name of education and sustainability on the field trips. They learned lessons on how mangroves impact coastal eco-systems and communities, the importance of mangrove restoration and how they too can help protect Thailand’s mangrove forests.
Thai Union recognizes education is an important foundation for a better life and is facilitating the construction of preschools in Samut Sakhon, Thailand.
Thai Union recognizes education is an important foundation for a better life.
We officially opened our third preschool at Wat Yaichomprasat School for children of our migrant and local workers in Samut Sakhon, Thailand in 2017.
These schools help the children enter the Thai education system, so they can progress to primary school. They also ensure the children are safe during the day, providing their working parents with real peace of mind. Thai Union previously established preschools at Wat Srisudtharam School in 2013 and Wat Sirimongkol School in 2014. We aim to open two additional preschools in Samut Sakhon over the next two years.
IUCN and Thai Union supported various community-based initiatives in Koh Yao Yai, Phang Nga, Thailand throughout 2017.
Together with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and Department of Fisheries, Thai Union supported various community-based initiatives in Koh Yao Yai, Phang Nga, Thailand throughout 2017. The Thai Union-IUCN Partnership Project works with the predominantly Muslim Thai community of Koh Yao Yai to manage marine and coastal resources, develop sustainable tourism and enhance livelihood resilience.
Three main components
Photo credit: Janyawath Sutamma/IUCN
Thai Union and Samut Sakhon F.C. co-host annual football clinics to promote physical education and a healthy lifestyle for students.
In 2017 and 2018, student athletes in Thailand have had the opportunity to learn a few tricks from the pros on the football pitch. And, just maybe, the Samut Sakhon Football Club (F.C.) coaching staff and players caught a glimpse of a future star or two as the team, along with Thai Union, co-organized four teaching clinics annually for schoolchildren in the Samut Sakhon community.
Samut Sakhon F.C. coaches and players hold skill drills and demonstrate proper football techniques at Mahachai Futsal Stadium for hundreds of students from Wat Yaichomprasat School, Wat Srisudtharam School and Wat Sirimongkol School. The two-hour clinics emphasize the importance of physical fitness, good sportsmanship and teamwork.
In November 2015, Thai Union organized a football clinic session led by legendary permit league footballers Dietmar Hamann, Jari Litmanen and Stéphane Henchoz for the children from Wat Sri Suttharam School.
Okeanos Food employees helped to install a roof at the canteen and extend a surrounding fence to prevent crime at the Wat Khok Child Care Center.
More than 70 percent of workers at Okeanos Food in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, are from Myanmar and live in Mahachai Nives, where their children are among 94 students at the Wat Khok Child Care Center. After consultation with the community in 2017, Okeanos decided to support the center—and 45 employees helped to install a roof at the canteen and extend a surrounding fence to prevent crime. They also painted a wall with information to provide knowledge about marine life and waste identification.
To help raise awareness about how to maintain a healthy diet, Thai Union routinely hosts health and nutrition workshops for the families in Samut Sakhon, Thailand.
Kids love to eat. And parents want to be sure their kids are eating right. So, to help raise awareness about how to maintain a healthy diet, Thai Union hosts health and nutrition workshop for the families of local students in Samut Sakhon, Thailand.
A three-hour workshop in 2017 at Wat Sri Sudtharam Schoolwas led by three nutritionists from Nakornthon Hospital. Parents received information on the types of food they should provide to children, and how to best prepare certain meals. Additionally, parents were instructed on what action to take if their children did not want to eat properly. To watch a video from the workshop, click here.
Thai Union will hold four health and nutrition workshops throughout 2018.
Thai Union supports community cleaning efforts and work to combat climate change by restoring a damaged coral reef in a high profile biodiversity and ecotourism site in the Seychelles.
In 2016, we started working with Nature Seychelles to restore a small coral reef in the shallow waters facing Cousine Island that lost to climate change. The restoration includes transplanting 10,000 coral fragments of several species, and will provide a tourism opportunity for the area. When restored, it will also strengthen the case for Cousine Island to be a marine protected area.
In 2017, more than 200 employees from IOT Seychelles volunteered and were deployed to various locations across the local community to engage in activities making a positive difference to the community’s environment and people. IOT Seychelles employees planted more than 2,000 trees to help restore degraded land in the national forest, removing debris, litter, dead wildlife and invasive plants.
Members raise funds to help Thai Union workers in need, such as flood victims, support for families having a baby or funeral costs.
The Friend-to-Friend Club was formed by migrant workers with the help of Thai Union operating company Quality Management. Members voluntarily contribute one Thai Baht (approximately USD$0.32) a day to the club’s savings account, with funds raised used to help Thai Union workers in need, such as flood victims, those needing medication, support for families having a baby, or funeral costs. The club also provides social services, such as cleaning services and the donation of a printer valued at 6,690 Thai Baht (roughly $213) to the Child Care Centre at Tha-Chalorm. The club has gained recognition and now has 120 members.
The camp experience was designed by 70 scientists from Thai Union to teach students basic science and permit them to participate in fun learning experiments.
An insatiable curiosity and a passion for science bonded more than 100 students from Samut Sakhon, Thailand, with some of the top minds in research, technology and innovation during the Thai Union Global Innovation Incubator’s (Gii) Second Annual Science Camp held at Wat Srisudtharam School in September 2017.
The camp experience was designed by 70 scientists from Thai Union to teach students basic science, including how to better develop logical thinking and observational skills.
SCC Thailand introduced the AEC Language Learning Center to place interpreters in Thai Union plants to communicate with migrant workers.
A lack of local workers in Thailand often leads to a higher demand for migrant workers, many of whom face communication barriers due to language differences. To help resolve this challenge, SCC Thailand introduced the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Language Learning Center, which aims to place interpreters in Thai Union plants to communicate with migrant workers. In 2017, workers volunteered to teach Burmese, Lao, Khmer and English to SCC Thailand staff. In the future, SCC Thailand plans to extend the program by opening it to the general public. The program has resulted in an increased number of SCC staff interpreters, approximately half of whom are able to communicate with migrant workers at Thai Union plants.
UN's World Food Programme and Thai Union launched a study to model the impact of a planned universal national school meals program on the economy in Kenya.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with support from Thai Union in 2017 launched a study to model the impact of a planned universal national school meals program on the economy in Kenya. The study, which will be done in collaboration with University of California, will help demonstrate the potential impact on the local and national economy, if Kenya had a national program providing a daily lunch to all 8.9 million school children. Using data from schools, traders, businesses, farmers and households, it will be possible to estimate the returns generated by every dollar invested in a national school meals program, based on the procurement of local food products.
The lessons learned from this project could show an ability to dramatically improve the nutrition of schoolchildren while concurrently boosting local economies with one single policy. Additionally, demonstrable successes could pave the way for the potential application of similar initiatives on a global level in both developed and developing nations. The study will be completed in 2019.
Thai Union established our Garbage Bank program to encourage staff involvement in an environmental initiative and raise funds to support local communities.
To promote environmental awareness, Thai Union established our Garbage Bank program in 2014. This allows us to encourage staff involvement in an environmental initiative and raise funds to support local communities.
The program is designed to:
In 2017, the Garbage Bank generated 36,536 Thai Baht (approximately $1,200) by selling collected plastic waste. The revenue supported educational materials for the children of Thai Union workers.
Supporting the local GHG reduction scheme in Thailand.
In 2017 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to participate in the Thailand Voluntary Emission Trading Scheme (Thailand V-ETS). The scheme brings together the private and public sector to monitor, report and verify GHG emissions in Thailand. This MOU is a critical step in understanding and agreeing on the importance of establishing environmental targets as an effective tool for combatting climate change.
Improving our technology and processes is helping us to deliver against our 30% GHG reduction commitment.
In 2014, we conducted an energy audit to understand the consumption sources; explored alternative energy sources such as bio-gas, solar, wind and biomass; increased our energy efficiency; and used innovations in technology to reduce energy consumption. In 2015, Songkla Canning Company replaced using fuel oil in its steam production to biomass energy, which resulted in energy reduction of 124,570.4 GJ per year.
Working with Legambiente, our Mareblu brand is supporting the education of the Mediterranean diet.
In 2014, our Italian brand Mareblu supported local NGO Legambiente in the Mediterranean Diet exhibition at the Living Museum of the Sea (Museo Vivo del Mare). The exhibition looks to educate visitors on how the Mediterranean diet was born, and offers different experiences for students of different ages to explore and experience the Mediterranean culture through its cuisine.
We have brought the pre-processing of shrimp in-house, contracting workers directly so we can guarantee safe and legal employment.
In 2016 over one thousand former employees from external pre-processing facilities have been employed to work in Thai Union factories in Thailand. We ended all relationships with external pre-processing facilities so we have full oversight of all processing stages in the supply chain. This move has provided safe and legal employment for an additional 1,200 workers in our factories in Samut Sakhon.
As a key partner of the tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Indian Ocean, we will work to meet the sustainability standard set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
In 2016, we signed a letter by WWF that encouraged member countries of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to engage in a tuna FIP and work towards MSC certification of the fishery. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016 by the governments of Seychelles and Mauritius, WWF, Thai Union and Princes, indicating their interest to establish the Indian Ocean tuna FIP. The FIP focuses on the key areas of sustainable sourcing, including healthy fish stocks, minimal and reversible impact on ecosystems, and effective fisheries management. The FIP will also focus on supporting the recovery plan of the yellowfin stock in the region and will work closely with the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to improve fisheries governance in the region.
We have initiated a full and comprehensive audit of the entire fleet supplying tuna to our European markets to ensure every vessel fully complies with our sustainability commitments.
In 2016 we initiated an external audit process of the fleet supplying tuna to our European markets, which will be completed in 2017. The audit will check against compliance with regulations by the European Union (EU) and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF); around Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU); quality and food safety; our own Thai Union sustainability policy and code of conduct.
Freezing is one of our major sources of energy consumption. Improving our equipment and processes is delivering against our 30% CO2 reduction commitment.
In 2015 we have undertaken a number of measures that have improved the efficiency of freezing. New working practices have reduced the time needed to load tuna into our freezers and smaller doors with integrated air curtains prevent air leaking from our freezers. We have also reduced the moisture in packed tuna as high humidity leads to higher electricity consumption by the cooling system. The combination of all these initiatives has reduced our annual energy consumption by 5,234 GJ.
Thai Union Europe's partnership with WWF-UK supports WWF's Coastal East Africa (CEA) program, which works to improve the management of artisanal tuna fisheries in the South West Indian Ocean.
In 2014, Thai Union Europe started direct funding to WWF’s CEA program. The funds supports WWF’s work on overall tuna stock management in the Indian Ocean, improving management practices, and examining opportunities for value chain addition. The work is critical in supporting greater food security and sustainable resources for millions of people, and will also contribute to the management of migratory tuna in the Indian Ocean.
We have conducted an external audit of our full shrimp feed supply chain to verify the legal status of workers on vessels.
In 2016, 100 percent of our shrimp feed supply chain was externally audited by UL. As a member of the Seafood Task Force, this is part of our work towards establishing traceability systems.
We help support the conservation of sea turtles in Italy, through partnerships with organizations such as Legambiente.
Since 2012, our Mareblu brand in Italy has supported the Sea Turtle Recovery Center of Manfredonia (FG) operated by non-profit organization, Legambiente. Mareblu’s contribution has funded tanks for livestock, water treatment facilities, sand filters, feed and supplements.
Our focus on standardizing safety practices and behavior has led to improvements on our lost-time injuries frequency rate (LTIFR).
In 2015, our ongoing focus on standardizing safety practices saw year-on-year improvement in our LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate), from 0.77 in 2014 to 0.7 in 2015 (per 200,000 work hours).
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Chicken of the Sea donated $1m to local good causes in the US to ensure their ongoing community support.
In 2014, Chicken of the Sea celebrated its 100th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it created the Great American Gratitude Award to give more than US$1,000,000 to 100 non-profits and individuals across America who give back to their communities and exhibit the ‘pay it forward’ spirit. It also donated 1 million meals to Feeding America®, in continuation of the brand’s ongoing relationship with the American nationwide network of food banks. Chicken of the Sea continued to pay it forward in 2015 through the Mermaid Legacy Fund, a permanent corporate initiative that allows the company to donate money, volunteer hours and other resources to a select number of non-profit organizations in its hometown of San Diego and beyond on a longer term, partnership basis.
By funding partners such as the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), we are ensuring that fishing vessels minimize bycatch like turtles.
Since 2009, our Chicken of the Sea brand in the US makes a significant financial donation every year to ISSF’s Sea Turtle Conservation Projects, which secure nesting beaches across the world. More information can be found here http://iss-foundation.org/what-we-do/areas-of-focus/bycatch/turtles/
Our ‘Garbage Bank’ program gets staff involved in our environmental program and raises funds to support the local communities.
In 2014 we established our ‘Garbage Bank’ program to reduce waste by encourage reusing and recycling; developing alternative materials that are more eco-friendly; and implementing alternative disposal methods. The program helped staff become more aware of waste, both at home and at work. Through collaboration with all levels of staff within our facilities, we collect plastic waste from our facilities and sell it to responsible recyclers. In 2015, our operations in Thailand raised 59,010 Thai bhat which has been used to fund community projects including planting mangroves, a lunch program for local children and support to victims of flooding in Myanmar.
Responding directly to sweeping new dietary guidelines that call for significantly increased seafood consumption, Chicken of the Sea challenged Americans to explore a happier, healthier year in 2016.
In 2016, our US brand Chicken of the Sea launched “Sea the Possibilities” challenge that asked consumers to broaden their horizons through bold new foods, everyday experiences and once-in-a-lifetime adventures that can contribute to a richer, more satisfying life – both in the kitchen and beyond. The challenge followed the launch of “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020” that encourage Americans to choose seafood in place of other protein foods for two meals per week. See the winning entries here http://chickenofthesea.com/possibilities
“Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach him to fish, and you feed him for life.”
Since 2013, we have been working with the Right Livelihood Foundation to develop a model for a sustained fishing community. We are helping to establish social enterprise initiatives which encourage local fishermen to sell their sustainably-caught fish and earn their own income; this helps the community towards self-sufficiency. We are also working with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to assess environmental impacts and improvements for the project.
We run an ongoing program to keep the beaches of Seychelles clean of plastic and waste.
Since 2013, our teams in the Seychelles have been running the ‘Caring for our Ocean’ initiative to ensure the beaches and coastal waters are cleaned regularly and are free from litter and plastic waste. From the initial launch, our work has developed and now encompasses cleaning the rivers that flow into the ocean as this is a significant source of rubbish from local household waste.
We support studies into the presence and volume of plastic in Italian seas, as marine litter is a global concern, affecting oceans around the world.
Since 2015, our Italian brand Mareblu has supported local NGO Legambiente on its marine litter initiative. Contributing to the European Directive on Marine Strategy to protect the marine environment, the initiative studies the presence of micro-plastic particles in Italian Seas and Lakes, which help inform the planning of preventive measures.
We are committed to helping the families of migrant workers, as well as the employees themselves. Our program of English lessons is designed to develop the skills necessary for the children to have the brightest futures possible.
In 2016, in collaboration with Wat Sri Suttharam School, we organized an English Teaching Program to improve the English language skills of students, many of whom are the children of migrant workers. The two-month scheme was led by both Thai and expatriate Thai Union employees. It is part of our commitment to promote lifelong learning opportunities, in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Identifying factories with high water-shortage risk enabled us to focus on their water efficiency and effective water treatment.
In 2015 we used the Aqueduct global water risk mapping tool to map the water stress at 15 of our key factories and facilities globally. In 2016, we included assessed 11 more sites, and increased the scope to include water shortage, floods, water quality, and water cost. This assessment identified 4 out of 25 factories that were located in areas of high water-shortage risk.
Developing alternative water sources in a water stressed location in Thailand.
Songkla Canning Company (SCC) is situated in a municipality with unstable water supply volume and quality. In 2015, SCC in the Songkhla province of Thailand developed alternative water sources that accounted for 79% of all water consumption at the facility, through a private surface water pond and its own rain reservoir. It also developed water treatment facilities to enable wastewater reuse, which amounted to 19% of its water consumption in 2015.
Our biogas initiative is helping us deliver against our commitment to reduce our GHG emissions by 30% over the coming years.
In 2014 we initiated a bio-gas project at Thai Union Manufacturing Co. Ltd. The project allows us to capture bio-gas from the treatment of our wastewater; this is then used to generate electricity. In the first year, this project delivered a GHG reduction of 0.00961CO2eq for every ton of production. And in 2015, the project reduced our electricity consumption by just under 9,000 GJ.
We supported WWF’s petition to encourage Peru to engage in a Mahi-Mahi Fishery Improvement Project (FIP).
In 2016, we signed a petition by WWF that encouraged the Peruvian authorities to engage in the Mahi-Mahi FIP and to work with Ecuador to establish joint management measures. As Mahi-Mahi is a migratory species and the stock is shared by Peru and Ecuador, this would be a key progress towards MSC certification of the fishery.
We are supporting the Royal Thai Government’s efforts to create sustainable fisheries, and tacking problems in IUU fishing.
In 2016 we worked with the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) to adopt international standards for a feed FIP in the Gulf of Thailand. The main goals of this feed FIP is to ensure that all its fisheries are traceable and transparent throughout the supply chain; deters and eliminates IUU fishing and overfishing; and protects the wider marine ecosystem.
As a partner of the blue swimmer crab Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Sri Lanka, we will support the research and formulation of a harvest control strategy.
The Sir Lanka FIP aims to maintain the social and economic benefits generated by the fishery through sustainable management of blue swimmer crabs.
Since the FIP was active in 2016, it has completed the assessment on the ecological impact of the fishery in the Palk Bay (Bay of Bengal). Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods is co-financing the cost of researching and formulation of a harvest control strategy for blue swimmer crab fisheries in Sri Lanka.
More information of the FIP can be found here: http://www.committedtocrab.org/projects/sri-lanka/
We have conducted an external audit of our full shrimp feed supply chain to ensure compliance with sustainability requirements.
In 2015, our Thai-sourced shrimp feed supply chain was internally audited by trained team members. In 2016, 100% of our Thai shrimp feed supply chain was externally audited by UL.
We are committed to source from vessels that are on the ProActive Vessel Register (PVR) by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF).
The PVR lists vessels that have taken meaningful sustainability efforts in order to improve responsible practices in tuna fishing. Thai Union is committed to increasing the amount of fish sourced from PVR vessels, and we encourage our suppliers to join the PVR. From the 1st January 2016, 100% of the large-scale purse seiners we source from were registered. The full list of vessels on the PVR can be found here: http://iss-foundation.org/knowledge-tools/databases/proactive-vessel-register
Thai Union and all its consumer brands around the world have been certified as ‘dolphin safe’ since 1991.
We support the International Marine Mammal Project, an Earth Island Institute project that has been in place for more than 30 years; to protect dolphins, whales and the ocean environment. It pioneered the “Dolphin Safe” tuna fishing standard. We are proud that all our tuna – across every brand and every market – carries Companies that have signed a dolphin safe agreement are subject to regular monitoring by Earth Island Institute International Monitoring Program, the only independent marine conservation assessment in the world. It includes monitoring of ports, canneries and on-board vessels.
Aquaculture – shrimp and other species that are not sourced from the sea – is a major part of our business. We are working towards certification by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
In 2015, TMAC, our subsidiary in Thailand, started its Biodiversity-inclusive Environmental Impact Assessment (B-EIA) and participatory-Social Impact Assessment (p-SIA), which were completed in 2016. Results of these assessments will be used to improve the environmental and societal performance of TMAC’s shrimp farms in south Thailand, as they work to meet the standards of the ASC. Three TMAC farms and one key supplier farm are in the process of developing and implementing Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs) to achieve ASC certification.
Our French brand, Petit Navire, answers any questions that consumers may have on its sustainable fishing practices.
In 2015, our French brand, Petit Navire, has developed a website called Questions de Confiance (matter of trust), where consumers can find Frequently Asked Questions about sustainable fishing and ask any additional questions they may have.
The website covers questions on fishing methods, resource management, quality and traceability, and marine conservation.
Go through http://questionsdeconfiance.fr for FAQs on the different topics.
We have 100% traceability for all our tuna, with all of our major brands offering consumers a can-tracker allowing them to trace their tuna back to the ocean it came from and the boat that caught it.
In 2016 we achieved 100% traceability for all tuna brands with a public facing can-tracker, supporting our commitment for full traceability for all tuna sourced.
On all of these sites, consumers are invited to enter the code on their can to discover the name of the vessel that caught the fish and the ocean in which it was caught. This level of transparency builds confidence for consumers.
We provide practical support, medical help and legal aid to victims of human trafficking in Thailand.
In 2015, we initiated a pilot program with the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) Foundation to deliver counseling, medical assistance, temporary food and shelter, and to provide legal aid to repatriated men who had been victims of human trafficking. During this program, Thai Union offered employment to the rescued men, which seven accepted. These men were given a thorough medical assessment, accommodation and their rental fees for the first month. The men began work in our fish production department in August 2015. We also work with the Issara Institute in Thailand to offer humanitarian aid, safe and legal employment, and support for victims of human trafficking or forced labor.
In 2016 we also offered this program to workers in other industries in Thailand, and are developing a scalable and sustainable model for this project.
Our ethical migrant recruitment policy is protecting workers in Thailand from the risk of extortion by unscrupulous labor agents and brokers.
In 2016, as part of our ethical migrant recruitment policy, we launched a zero recruitment fees commitment for all future recruitment of workers for our Thai facilities. By recruiting locally or directly through licensed agents in border countries, we are protecting workers from the risk of extortion by unlicensed agents and brokers. This reduces the risk of workers becoming involved in debt bondage or forms of forced labor.
Recognizing suppliers sometimes need some help in addressing labor management and oversight practices, we are now providing practical support and guidance to help them implement real improvements.
In 2014 our subsidiary, Chicken of the Sea (COSI), decided that audits alone were not enough to help suppliers improve their labor standards. We found that many wanted to improve their practices, but lacked the in-house knowledge to do so promptly and effectively. So COSI has introduced a “performance improvement plan (PIP)” approach. Now, working with the NGO Verité, a third-party audit team conducts an initial assessment to determine performance gaps, and then works with the supplier over the following year to develop new policies, change or introduce new practices, and to create better data management systems. Since moving to a PIP model, COSI has seen remarkable improvement, with all audited suppliers making substantial progress against the requirements of our Business Ethics and Labor Code of Conduct.
In 2016 Verité began training our own auditors in Thailand to extend this program.
As part of our long-term labor empowerment program, we have trained all our migrant workers so they are aware of their employment and welfare rights.
Since 2014 migrant workers employed in our facilities across Thailand have received formal training on Thai labor and social welfare regulations. The program provides workers with information, support and empowerment through knowledge and communication, working on delivery with local NGO partners as well as the International Labor Organisation.