Feb 17th, 2023

Thai Union Participates in Bali Process, Shares Progress on Protecting Workers

At Thai Union, we take great pride in being a leader in the global seafood industry.

Since we introduced our sustainability strategy, SeaChange® in 2016, Thai Union has made significant progress across a broad and diverse range of issues that affect not just our business but the entire industry.

Last week, Adam Brennan – Group Director, Sustainability, was invited to participate in the Bali Process Government and Business Forum and share what measures Thai Union has implemented to protect workers across our supply chain.

The Bali Process was established in 2002 to bring government and business together to eradicate human trafficking, forced labor, modern slavery, and the worst forms of child labor. This year’s forum was co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia in the Australian city of Adelaide, where participants discussed the progress made on the Acknowledge, Act, Advance Recommendations (AAA Recommendations). Adopted in 2018, the AAA Recommendations was the first major policy document agreed between the private and public sector to tackle human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery in the region.

Representatives from government and business from across Asia Pacific and the U.S. attended the two-day forum. On Day One business leaders met to discuss how technology and other tools can help to drive transparent and ethical supply chains. We heard how organizations from large multinationals to stock exchanges are addressing these issues; including, a presentation from the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on the tools they have developed to manage modern slavery risks in publicly listed Thai companies.

On Day 2, business leaders were invited into the 8th Bali Process Ministerial Conference. Co-chaired by the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. In our address to the Bali Process in Adelaide, we outlined how Thai Union has been working on social and environmental issues both on and below water as part of our SeaChange® strategy since 2016. While we don’t own any vessels, Thai Union is working with partners to ensure we provide safe and decent work in our own operations and across our extensive supply chain.

We used the forum as an opportunity to share some examples of the interventions Thai Union has adopted, including:

• How having traceability is essential to understand and mitigate our risks, which is why all our tuna products can be traced back to catch
• Since January 2022, Thai Union has implemented the Employer Pays Principle as part of our Ethical Recruitment Policy in our Thailand operations, which means that no worker pays for a job and they are protected across a long and complex recruitment journey
• Thai Union conducts third party audits of vessels against our code of conduct, ensuring amongst other topics, that the vessel is free from any form of forced, compulsory, bonded, indentured labor, prison labor or trafficked labor
• How we are increasing the monitoring of vessels at sea through electronic monitoring and human observers, with a commitment to have 100 percent coverage in our tuna supply chain by 2025

We also made a commitment on behalf of Thai Union to continuously drive safe and decent work across our operations and our supply chain, and to utilize all available tools, technologies and partnerships to do so.

We have made enormous progress to protect workers in our operations and the supply chain but acknowledge that challenges remain. As we prepare to launch the next iteration of SeaChange®, workers will continue to be a critical focus for us as we work to achieve our new sustainability commitments and goals to 2030.