Human Rights, Worker Voice in Thailand’s Fishing Industry the Focus of New Short Film

10 JANUARY 2018, BANGKOK — Thai Union Group PCL and Mars Petcare have launched a short video documenting how an innovative digital traceability pilot program in Thailand, which the two companies have implemented alongside a coalition of industry and government groups, has helped to boost human rights in the seafood industry.

The video explores Inmarsat’s “Fleet One” terminals being successfully installed on fishing vessels in Thailand, and introduces audiences to the crew members, captains and fleet owners trained on chat applications which enable them to connect with families and peers around the world while at sea—an industry first for Thai fisheries.

“As part of our commitment to sustainability, we believe we can, and should, play a role in increasing opportunity for people to thrive in the workplaces and communities we touch,” said Isabelle Aelvoet, Mars Petcare’s global sustainability director. “We are honored to partner with Thai Union and the coalition on human rights. This initiative sets a new standard from an environmental and social perspective for the seafood supply chain.”

The pilot project has the potential to improve traceability and transparency throughout Thai waters, as well as the greater global fishing industry since many issues in Thailand replicate themselves in fishing communities around the world.

Traceability—the ability to track a product in granular detail from its place of origin all the way to the consumer—is a key component to ensuring safe and legal labor that benefits workers, producers and consumers by bringing transparency to the entire system.

“You don’t see worker voice and connectivity in every country. Many issues we are finding in Thailand replicate themselves in other fishing communities around the world,” said Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development. “For the first time, workers at sea in Thailand are able to communicate back on land. They can communicate to loved ones, find out what’s happening at home, stay in touch, and of course if there’s any human rights abuses, they can contact land and raise the alarm.”

The video is now accessible on Thai Union’s official YouTube channel at the following link: https://youtu.be/ckNg5gszHio.

In November 2016, Thai Union and Mars Petcare released a video regarding this pilot project focusing on digital traceability. Later this year, the two companies will unveil a final video highlighting e-logbooks.

This digital traceability pilot program is in line with Thai Union’s sustainable development strategy, SeaChange®, which considers traceability as the backbone of sustainability. To learn more about SeaChange®, please visit: http://upmedio.wpengine.com/.


Caption: A fisherman is pictured using a mobile phone on a Thai fishing boat in southern Thailand, where Thai Union and Mars Petcare are implementing a digital traceability pilot program which will enhance human rights and provide workers with a voice at sea. Photo credit: Thai Union



Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for almost 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 125 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) and a global workforce of over 46,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets (DJSI) in 2014. In 2017, Thai Union was named to the DJSI for the fourth consecutive year. Thai Union has also been included in the FTSE4Good Emerging Index.