Greenpeace highlights environmental and labor concerns ahead of Thai Union Annual General Meeting

Press release - April 5, 2016
As the Thai Union(TU) Annual General Meeting (AGM) opens in Bangkok today with more than a thousand attendees, Greenpeace reiterates that reputational damage, destructive fishing methods, labor and human rights abuses in the supply chain are among the factors that investors and shareholders of Thai Union Group PLC. (TU) ought to be wary of if they continue to invest.

Greenpeace is running a global campaign (1) targeting Thai Union’s major brands and customers to drive improvements in the company’s tuna supply chains and beyond. Greenpeace has clearly asked the company to provide a timeline with steps on how it plans to move away from destructive fishing, such as the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine tuna fishing, address social responsibility, and ensure full traceability in its global supply chains. Thai Union has not yet done so.

“Governments, consumers and retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for better and more sustainable management in the seafood and fishing industry,” said Anchalee Pipattanawattanakul, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Investors and shareholders need to recognise the practices that Thai Union is engaged in, and determine whether being associated with the company is worth the reputational risk.”

Earlier this year, Thai Union Group PCL. announced an international consultation programme with key stakeholders as part of its Sea Change Sustainability Strategy (2).

“Greenpeace does not believe that Sea Change represents a shift towards a comprehensive programme of work that will address the rights of fishers working on vessels both inside and outside of Thai waters and flagged to countries other than Thailand. It also does not show how the company intends to move towards more sustainable fishing methods such as purse seine fishing without the use of harmful fish aggregating devices,”  added Pipattanawattanakul.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia demands that Thai Union source only from more sustainable tuna fisheries, and put strict and comprehensive sourcing requirements in place across all supply chains that guarantee, through third party verification, that all seafood sourcing is free from human rights and labor abuses and is socially responsible.