SeaWeb Seafood Summit conference program puts focus on social and human rights challenges

Published on
April 26, 2019

Representatives from Walmart, Anova Food, Thai Union, and North Atlantic/Bali Seafood International will be featured speakers at the 2019 SeaWeb Seafood Summit, which will have a major focus on social and human rights challenges in seafood supply chains.

The summit, taking place 10 to 14 June in Bangkok, Thailand, will involve many of the leading voices in the seafood sustainability movement in Asia and globally. Companies taking part in the event will discuss ways they’ve created stronger relationships with supply chain partners and workers, reduced their exposure to risk, and produced a better product to sell through the adoption of sustainability measures in their respective businesses.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice, an advocate of “impact sourcing” as a core strategy for both poverty alleviation and sustainable business. Rice is the author of “The Human Face of Sustainability: Empowering Fishers, Farmers, and Workers.” Rice will also serve on a panel with Richard Welford, the founder and chairman of CSR Asia, Walmart Senior Buying Manager Trevyr Lester, and Sarah Hogan, the program officer for the Packard Foundation’s Global Seafood Markets strategy, to discuss successful examples from seafood and other industries of sustainable supply chains. The panelists will share their experiences in using market forces to drive positive impacts on workers, communities, resources, and corporate profits, according to Diversified Communications, which operates the summit. (Editor’s note: Diversified Communications also operates SeafoodSource).

Another featured panel at the summit will investigate the economics of sustainable seafood in Asia, sustainability trends in other Asian markets, and how sustainable practices might come to be better recognized in Asian markets in the future. The panel will include Janice Lao, director of group corporate responsibility and sustainability at The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels Limited; Rabobank’s Umesh Madhavan; Nobukazu Furuya with AEON TopValu Thailand; Wakao Hanaoka from Seafood Legacy; and Julie Qiu, the marketing director for Australis Aquaculture.

A separate plenary session will look into illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Asia, and will include Environmental Justice Foundation Co-Founder Steve Trent and Adisorn Promthep, the Director-General of Thaland’s Department of Fisheries. Trent and Promthep will discuss transparency initiatives and how they can be applied in the real-world, studying examples from Thailand and Indonesia. 

The program also includes a look at some of the more challenging issues in aquaculture with “Innovation in Action: The Journey Towards Incorporating Novel Feed Ingredients and Engaging Consumers;” “Advancing Human Rights in Responsible Aquaculture,” and “The Power of Collaboration in Driving Improvements in Feed Fisheries through FIPs.” Speakers from Fortune Fish, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute; The International Labor Organization; the Ministry of Labor for Thailand; and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for Indonesia; The Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative; The James Beard Foundation; and PT Alter Trade Indonesia, are also included in the line-up of speakers at this year’s summit, speaking on topics ranging from ratings and certification, fisheries management, connecting with new markets through sustainability, and new tools and programs being developed to support a more sustainable seafood industry.

The summit will also include a seminar on pathways to ethical worker engagement through case studies, working groups, and expert guidance. There will also be a set of workshops attendees can including “Money Matters: How do we pay for Sustainability;” “Building Momentum for FIPs in Southeast Asia;” and “On the Frontlines: How Multi-sector Partnerships Can Strengthen Maritime Security and Advance Environmentally and Socially Responsible Seafood.”

The first day of the summit will close with the Seafood Champions Awards, followed by a reception sponsored by Thai Union. 

Summit attendees will also have numerous opportunities for experiential learning, including a field trip to the Thailand Department of Fisheries Monitoring Center, the principal unit for monitoring and surveillance of fishing vessels in Thailand, and the Thai Union Innovation Center.

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