Thai Union welcomes the Associated Press (AP) article highlighting the continuing labor issues in the Thai shrimp industry.
When AP ran a story in December 2015, first revealing labor conditions in peeling sheds deep within the supply chain, Thai Union accelerated its plans to bring all shrimp pre-processing in-house where it could guarantee safe and legal employment in clean, comfortable conditions. We no longer use any suppliers for shrimp pre-processing. Instead, since January 2016, we have employed over 1,200 people previously working in pre-processing. Now, they all benefit from fair salaries, regular working hours with time off, voluntary and limited overtime, and the opportunity to earn bonuses. Reading the independent feedback they shared with AP, we are encouraged that our efforts have made a difference in their lives.
However, as the AP article highlights, problems still exist within the Thai industry. While Thailand’s regulation and support for trafficked workers have been commended, we recognize that more still needs to be done. For example, Thai Union is making significant efforts in traceability processes that enable us to prove that our seafood is legally and safely produced, and that safe labor conditions are met throughout the supply chain. This is vital to building trust with our consumers. We will continue our work with government, stakeholders and the wider seafood industry, working together to drive change in the shrimp supply chain and ensure safe and legal labor for all workers.
To read about Thai Union’s commitment to safe, legal and freely-chosen employment, please take a look at our SeaChange® website: http://www.thaiunion-sustainability.com/safe-and-legal-labour.php