Thai Union, Chicken of the Sea, and Monterey Bay Aquarium announce sustainability collaboration

Thai Union Group PCL, Chicken of the Sea brand, and Monterey Bay Aquarium announced a new sustainability collaboration they’ve dubbed SeaChange IGNITE on 30 October. 

The initiative, announced at the Our Ocean conference in Bali, Indonesia, will focus on advancing sustainability and improvements in the supply chain, contributing to Thai Union’s overall sustainability goals. Combined, the organizations are committing USD 73 million (EUR 64.2 million) through 2025, with a focus on Southeast Asia. 

SeaChange IGNITE is also working with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, according to a release. 

“Thai Union is very excited to work with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Monterey Bay Aquarium on this important new sustainability initiative—this is a great example of how collaboration among key stakeholders can effectively address the sustainable development challenges in modern supply chains,” Thai Union’s Global Director for Sustainable Development Darian McBain said. “Thai Union positions sustainability at the heart of our business, and SeaChange IGNITE represents the next step toward further ensuring the food on consumers’ plates meets the highest quality and sustainability standards.” 

Also engaged in the announcement on 30 October were Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Monterey Bay Aquarium CEO Julie Packard.

The first target of supply chain improvements will be blue swimming crab and farmed shrimp. The new initiative aims to “address key challenges,” said Thai Union, including data collection, market development, livelihoods, and sustainability improvements toward Global Seafood Watch’s “Good Alternative” and “Best Choice” ratings. 

“For nearly 20 years, Monterey Bay Aquarium has worked to move global seafood production in a more sustainable direction,” Packard said. “This commitment is an important first step in accelerating sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia and will serve as a model for engagement for NGOs, governments and seafood producers.” 

According to Thai Union, part of the SeaChange IGNITE plan will provide direct economic incentives to producers and improvement projects. Those efforts will, in turn, increase the provide “new opportunities to supply sustainable products to the North American market,” Thai Union said. 

The announcement marks a significant private-sector commitment to sustainability, and furthers the goals of the Southeast Asia Fisheries and Aquaculture Initiative, a partnership announced by Kerry in 2017. 

“Private sector leadership, engagement and collaboration is critical to secure changes through the supply chain and on the water.” Kerry said. “I’m pleased to support this important new commitment and bring industry, governments and stakeholders together to drive comprehensive solutions for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia.”  

Photo courtesy of Our Ocean Conference


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