Thai Shrimpers Challenge Labor Report
The Thai Shrimp Association submitted an open letter to U.S. Ambassador Eric John yesterday demanding justice from the United States following allegations that the Thai shrimp industry abuses workers.
Late last month, the Solidarity Center, a Washington, D.C.-based workers' rights organization, released a 40-page report accusing the shrimp-farming and -processing industries in Thailand and Bangladesh of abusing workers. "The True Cost of Shrimp" was erroneous and intended to shake consumer confidence in Thai shrimp products, said Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association.
"We would like all parties concerned and the world to know the truth that there is no labor abuse in Thai shrimp processing plants as claimed and that the industry does not approve of any ill-treatment of labor, Thais or migrants," the letter stated.
"It is well accepted by importers of all countries that the Thai shrimp industry is the producer of highest quality shrimp products with food safety integrity."
"This is because Thailand is the leader in intensive shrimp farming technology that is environmentally friendly. It is well regarded that only Thailand can meet the standard of the most stringent shrimp importing country. Thai shrimp are processed and produced in processing plants with the highest standard on all aspects, unlike the accusations made by" the Solidarity Group.