SWSS: Greenpeace vows action against Thai Union

Published on
February 1, 2016

Greenpeace will target seafood giant Thai Union Group as well as its suppliers, buyers, brands and investors in an effort to pressure the company to reform perceived environmental and social problems in the company’s supply chain.

John Hocevar, the oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA, said in an interview with SeafoodSource.com that action against Thai Union is part of a new pivot by the organization towards greater activism protesting social iniquities.

“We came to understand the interconnectedness of the social and environmental issues, the cycle of devastation where overfishing makes it more difficult for seafood businesses to be profitable, and that in turn leads some of them to cut corners in ways that affects people in the form of not paying a living wage or providing decent working conditions. That enables them to have more boats on water, exacerbating the overfishing problem,” Hocevar said. “Many of the solutions we see to environmental problems are common to social problems. Transshipment at sea huge contributor to overcapacity and overfishing and has also enabled many of these conditions for workers to persist. Another common problem is the lack of observer coverage on many boats.”

In particular, Hocevar named improving wages and working conditions as request Greenpeace is making of Thai Union.

“We will continue to step up the pressure on Thai Union directly as well as through their corporate relationships. We will be engaging [Thai Union] suppliers as well as its buyers, brands and investors,” Hocevar said. “We want Thai Union to clean up their supply chain including seafood that they get through a third party.”
Hocevar said Greenpeace had engaged Thai Union in “initial discussions” and at this point “we are waiting to hear from them about how they’re going to address our concerns,” he said.

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