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 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.”
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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.
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.”
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.