GAA prohibits shrimp outsourcing in 2016 to counter labor abuse
Following the release of the latest Associated Press investigative report detailing forced and child labor in Thailand on Monday, the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program has decided to take a firm stand against labor abuses in seafood supply chains. Effective 1 January 2016, BAP-certified processing plants will be prohibited from outsourcing the processing of shrimp to third-party entities, program representatives said.
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“Accordingly, we will prohibit BAP-certified facilities from outsourcing their peeling and heading operations, effective Jan. 1, 2016,” Stevens added.
Any allegation of non-compliance could potentially trigger an unannounced audit in addition to routine annual audits, as GAA treats allegations of child and forced labor with the utmost seriousness, said alliance representatives.
The decision reflects GAA’s commitment to social justice, one of the pillars of its responsible aquaculture program; all BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills are required to meet standards for adequate wages, a safe and healthy working environment and prevention of child labor and forced labor, the organization reiterated.
“The prevention of child labor and forced labor can only be accomplished with the cooperation of all stakeholders — industry, the marketplace, government and non-governmental players promoting labor rights. Third-party certification programs like BAP are a key component of the solution. But the eradication of child labor and forced labor will not be achieved without the consistent enforcement of labor laws by local officials,” GAA concluded.
Find more industry reactions to the AP forced labor report here: Retailers and restaurants respond to latest AP slave labor report