Thai Union Group CEO Thiraphong Chansiri. (Photo: Stock File)
Thai Union suspends purchases from over 1,200 vessels
Monday, October 26, 2015, 09:00 (GMT + 9)
As part of its efforts to stop illegal fishing, Thai Union Group announced it has stopped receiving fish and shrimp captures from over a thousand fishing vessels.
According to the president and chief executive officer of the group, the firm has suspended seafood purchases from over 1,200 vessels and it now sources fish from 800 while out of the 200 vessels supplying shrimp and fish for fishmeal, now it operates with only 57, The Nation reported.
“Our mission is not to be the largest or the No 1 company, but to be the most trusted seafood leader because we see our stakeholders need a trusted company,” pointed out the officer.
To achieve this aim, Thai Union launched a global sourcing policy on transhipment bans in April and since then, it has stopped purchasing from transshipper vessels, among other measures.
In this regard the group’s CEO stressed: “As one of the founding members of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, we are committed to following Resolution 14-03, which calls upon the industry to refrain from transactions with purse-seine-caught tuna that are transshipped at sea”.
Meanwhile, Darian McBain, director of sustainable development, explained the group has set a target to achieve 100 per cent “from catch-to-consumption” traceability in all of its seafood products by 2020.
“Thai Union acknowledges the ever-increasing pressure from stakeholders on environment and labour issues in our supply chain. We have played a proactive role in working with government, community and research organisations, as well as customers and industry peers to jointly develop and implement important initiatives to improve the sustainability of our seafood supply chain,” she remarked.
McBain also recognised the efforts being made to crackdown illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities by the Thai government after receiving a “yellow card” warning from the European Commission early this year.
“As a global leader in the industry, Thai Union will be an agent of change that will fight to eradicate IUU fishing and will not tolerate human rights violations of any kind,” she stressed.
In addition, Chansiri expressed hopes the EC would consider these efforts in order to avoid a trade ban, which would imply for the Thai fishing industry annual losses of up to EUR 650 million.
The EU has long considered blocking all fish imports from Thailand as it investigates illegal fishing practices and allegations of slave labor in Thailand's gigantic fleet of 45,000 fishing vessels.
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