Therefore, we welcome the work that Greenpeace is undertaking to drive change and improve sustainability through global tuna supply chains, from catch to point of sale.
Like Greenpeace, we recognize that the reach and reputation of Thai Union and its many consumer brands allows us to lead the industry in effecting real change that will minimize bycatch, protect stock levels, preserve oceans, improve working conditions and ensure safe and legal practices throughout every fishing operation in the world. We have already made considerable progress towards achieving these within our own operations.
While Greenpeace has chosen to make Thai Union the focus of its public campaign, we are simply the ‘face’ of a much more significant piece of work it has undertaken to rate the operations of tuna producing companies around the world and to ensure that each company has a robust programme in place to improve the protection of endangered species, prevent overfishing and ensure better labor conditions for millions of people around the world.
We take issue, however, with some of the claims that Greenpeace is making about Thai Union and its operations. Despite reports, we have policies in place that strictly prohibit the purposeful capture of sharks and the abhorrent practice of shark-finning, and ensure that all of our operations comply with every national and international legal requirement. As one of the founding members of International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), we are committed to driving Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing practices out of the industry. Through our Business Ethics and Labor Code of Conduct, we uphold strict policies ensuring that anyone employed by Thai Union or within our supply chains is treated with respect; we strive to comply with every law – both national and international – to protect human rights.
We accept the responsibility we have to set the standards for the industry. For us, improving the sustainability and ethics of our operations is an ongoing process – we are not content to stand still and are investing significantly in trials of new and innovative processes to identify further improvements that can be made throughout our operations. We hope that by working closely with ISSF, our investment and innovation will benefit the wider tuna fishing industry.
Our vision is for an industry that respects the oceans and protects marine life, offers safe employment for millions of people around the world, supports the development of coastal communities and continues to provide a safe, affordable and healthy food source for a global population well into the future. Of course, this is a difficult balance to achieve and we call on Greenpeace to join the industry debate that is already underway, to work towards achieving our shared objectives.