The new projects to improve fisheries in which Thai Union will invest. (Image: Thai Union Group)
Thai Union aims to obtain all its tuna from sustainable sources
Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
Seafood company Thai Union Group PCL has adopted an ambitious strategy to ensure 100 per cent of its branded tuna is sustainably sourced with a commitment of achieving a minimum of 75 per cent by 2020.
To reach these goals, the Group is investing USD 90 million in initiatives that will increase the supply of sustainable tuna, including the establishment of 11 new Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) around the world.
“Tuna is the most readily available source of protein for millions of people around the world, and at least one billion depend on seafood for nourishment or employment,” pointed out the Group’s CEO Thiraphong Chansiri.
The executive also stressed the firm’s responsibility to protect tuna stocks for the good of the world and to transform tuna sourcing for the entire industry as well as demonstrating the Group’s strong commitment to the sustainability of the oceans.
Thai Union defines sustainably sourced tuna as tuna from fisheries that are either already certified according to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or are involved in a FIP that is working towards achieving standards required for MSC certification.
“Currently only 11 tuna fisheries globally are MSC certified, supplying just 14 per cent of globally landed tuna. Our commitment and strategy will have a positive impact on the entire industry by significantly increasing the supply of sustainable tuna available to the seafood processors, retailers and, ultimately, consumers,” stressed Darian McBain, Ph.D., Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development.
Thai Union’s new tuna commitment will apply to all of its tuna brands sold around the world, including Chicken of the Sea (North America), Genova (North America), John West (Northern Europe and Middle East), Mareblu (Italy), Petit Navire (France), and SEALECT (Thailand). Each of these brands will be reporting publicly on their progress against the 2020 commitment on a regular basis.
The Group’s Board reported that alongside investment in new FIPs, it has developed a number of other initiatives and is investing in trials of new digital technology which will improve transparency in the supply chain.
The firm explained that with 100 per cent digital traceability, the company can address illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing through tracking, ensuring vessels comply with all regulations and monitoring the labor standards that are in place along the supply chain. This also builds on the significant work already underway to ensure safe and legal labor for those working in the industry.
In addition, the Group announced its commitment to only sourcing from large-scale purse seiners that are registered on the ProActive Vessel Register and its intention to align all of its global tuna policies and contribute to academic and scientific research into the effective management of fish stocks.
Finally, the Group stressed that the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) undertakes annual audits to ensure all participating companies comply with ISSF conservation measures, improving the environmental performance, traceability and observation of tuna fishing in international waters.