GREENPEACE CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY
Greenpeace calls for transparency from seafood trader – Taiwanese tuna trader FCF Co won court approval to buy bankrupt American seafood company Bumble Bee Foods last week. Bumble Bee filed for bankruptcy after pleading guilty to price fixing. FCF supplies numerous Thai processors connected to well-known retailers, including Walmart, Costco, and Albertsons.
FCF is one of the world’s top three seafood traders with strong market links in Japan, the Americas, and Europe. FCF’s clients include many known seafood processors and brands, including Bumble Bee and Thai Union. With its acquisition of Bumble Bee, FCF will move from being solely a trader behind the scenes to a more public facing brand.
In response to the news, Greenpeace Senior Oceans Adviser Andy Shen said: “Acquiring the largest shelf-stable seafood company in North America brings additional responsibility for FCF to be transparent on all human rights and environmental impacts in its operations and value chain, and how it addresses them. FCF must assure American consumers that its products are not tainted with labour abuse and destructive fishing through ongoing public reporting.
“As the largest tuna trader in Taiwan, FCF should demonstrate its commitment to human rights by calling on the Taiwanese government to end its ‘overseas employment scheme’ and bring its laws in line with international labour standards. With a significant increase in FCF’s economic power, the company must also be a more responsible steward of our oceans by supporting a strong global treaty that would enable the protection of over a third of the world’s oceans by 2030. Bumble Bee customers want to know that this change in ownership will be a positive development for our oceans and fishers worldwide, not a reason for concern.”
Greenpeace East Asia Project Lead of Ocean Campaign Lisa Tsai said: “FCF, as one of the world’s largest seafood traders, must take responsibility for its impacts to our oceans and workers at sea. If connected to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or vessels committing human rights abuses, FCF could be exposing unknowing consumers to these horrific practices.
“Greenpeace East Asia has been engaging with FCF for years, advocating for stronger environmental and social responsibilities. However, there is still significant room for improvement as FCF doesn’t have sufficient policies or a detailed action plan in place for its entire supply chain to increase observer coverage and provide migrant worker protection. After the acquisition of Bumble Bee, FCF will not only be a seafood trader but a visible brand itself. With a stronger and direct connection to consumers, we call for FCF to shoulder the responsibility to protect our oceans and humanity that it should have taken long ago.”