Thai Union and Mars Petcare have detailed how an innovative digital traceability pilot programme in Thailand, implemented by the two companies alongside a coalition of industry and government groups, has helped to boost human rights in the seafood industry.
A video released as part of the programme explores Inmarsat’s Fleet One terminals being successfully installed on fishing vessels in Thailand, and introduces audiences to the crew, skippers and fleet owners trained on chat applications which enable them to connect with families and peers around the world while at sea – an industry first for Thai fisheries.
‘As part of our commitment to sustainability, we believe we can, and should, play a role in increasing opportunity for people to thrive in the workplaces and communities we touch,’ said Isabelle Aelvoet, Mars Petcare’s global sustainability director.
‘We are honoured to partner with Thai Union and the coalition on human rights. This initiative sets a new standard from an environmental and social perspective for the seafood supply chain.’
The pilot project has the potential to improve traceability and transparency throughout Thai waters, as well as the greater global fishing industry since many issues in Thailand replicate themselves in fishing communities around the world.
Traceability is a key component to ensuring safe and legal labour that benefits workers, producers and consumers by bringing transparency to the entire system.
‘You don’t see worker voice and connectivity in every country. Many issues we are finding in Thailand replicate themselves in other fishing communities around the world,’ said Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development.
‘For the first time, workers at sea in Thailand are able to communicate back on land. They can communicate to loved ones, find out what’s happening at home, stay in touch, and of course if there’s any human rights abuses, they can contact land and raise the alarm.’
Later this year, the two companies will unveil a final video highlighting e-logbooks.
This digital traceability pilot programme is in line with Thai Union’s sustainable development strategy, SeaChange, which considers traceability as the backbone of sustainability.