Nearly 700,000 people call on Thai Union for more sustainable, ethical tuna

Press release - June 2, 2017
Bangkok- Greenpeace Southeast Asia activists gathered at Thai Union headquarters today, delivering petition signatures representing over 680,000 people calling on the company to step forward as a leader for more sustainable and socially responsible tuna.

“Activists and consumers have pushed for progress from Thai Union and its brands for years, and now is the time for the company to step forward and commit to real changes,” said Greenpeace Global Seafood Markets Project Leader Graham Forbes. “We are delivering these petition signatures on behalf of people around the world who demand action. Thai Union can be the company to help move the destructive tuna industry in a better direction.”

To draw public attention to the issue, 20 activists, representing petition signatories in over 130 countries and territories, dressed up in tuna costumes and ran almost 4 kilometers from the National Stadium of Thailand in Central Bangkok to Thai Union’s headquarters to symbolically “pass the torch” for the company to make changes that would help protect workers at sea, and reduce overfishing, illegal fishing and the negative impacts on marine life from destructive fishing practices.

The relay run represented the journey consumers and activists from around the globe have taken in urging the seafood giant to commit to positive changes for our oceans and workers at sea.

Greenpeace activists met with Dr. Darian McBain, Group Director of Sustainable Development for Thai Union.

"Following almost two years of Greenpeace campaigning, we’re urging Thai Union to utilize more sustainable fishing methods rather than destructive ones to help curb rampant overfishing and the needless killing of vulnerable marine life in the tuna industry," said Anchalee Pipattanawattanakul, Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

"Thai Union must do more to eliminate the risk of human rights and labor abuses in its supply chains by addressing problematic practices like transshipment at sea, which enables vessels to stay at sea for months or years at a time, keeping workers away from watchful eyes."

Greenpeace’s global campaign against Thai Union focuses on addressing the company’s reliance on destructive fishing practicesand improving conditions for workers in its global supply chains. Greenpeace’s proposed changes to the company’s sourcing policies and practices would push Thai Union beyond the industry status quo and towards real and meaningful changes for marine life and seafood industry workers. Greenpeace's Thai Union campaign is part of a larger multi-year effort to transform the tuna industry and ensure the long-term health of tuna stocks, other marine life, and ocean ecosystems.

In March, industry giants Mars and Nestlé announced that they will take steps to ensure their pet food supply chains are free of human rights abuses and illegally caught seafood, increasing pressure on Thai Union. The tuna company owns brands such as Chicken of the Sea, Petit Navire, Sealect, and John West in countries around the world.

Notes to editors:

For photos from the petition delivery, please go to: http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJJZLV0H

 
Media contacts:

Anchalee Pipattanawattanakul, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Tel: +6691 770 3521, Email:

Somrudee Panasudtha, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Tel: +6681 929 5747, Email:

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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