The move comes after the company was scrutinized for having illegal, unsafe or mis-treated workers in its supply chain.
From 1 January 2016 onwards, all processing work will be directly controlled by Thai Union, ensuring that all workers, whether migrant or Thai, are in safe, legal employment and are treated fairly and with dignity.
The company took this decision following a full review of its supply chain and the release of its revised Business Ethics and Labour Code of Conduct in September 2015.
The company said that, despite regular audits, it is difficult to guarantee that all external pre-processors were adhering to its Code of Conduct.
The company is now offering the opportunity to work with Thai Union to up to a thousand workers currently employed by its external pre-processors.
Mr Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union commented: “I am pleased that we are implementing our plans to bring pre-processing of our shrimp products into Thai Union and are able to offer safe and legal employment to thousands more workers. This is a positive step towards our goal of ridding the Thai seafood sector of illegal labour practices. We are committed to leading improvements in the industry and we hope this reminds all operators that they must remain focused on promoting good labour practices – the abuse of human rights must not be tolerated.”
Dr Panisuan Jamnarnwej, Honorary Chairman of Thai Frozen Foods Association said: “This is a very encouraging move by Thai Union underlining the company’s commitment to be part of the solution to elevate the Thai seafood industry and driving real change in the management of the category. By bringing pre-processing operations in house, Thai Union will be able to monitor and promote the welfare of their workers directly.”
All Thai pre-processing operations, including those of Thai Union, must be registered with the Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA).
As a major supplier of seafood products to consumer markets around the world, Thai Union takes its responsibility for safeguarding those employed in the fishing industry very seriously. It is only by working in partnership with the supply chain and stakeholders that we will be able to drive illegal labour practices out of the whole fishing industry.