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Seafood Processing

THAI UNION AND WWF-UK RELEASE PARTNERSHIP PROGRESS REPORT

Thai Union and WWF-UK release partnership progress report

Thai Union and WWF-UK have released the fourth annual partnership progress report on their European partnership.

Thai Union and WWF have been working together since 2014 to deliver the commitments that they made when they signed up to the WWF ‘Global Seafood Charter’. The partnership work focused on improving the sustainability of seafood supply chains by considering key topics such as traceability, supply chain analysis, implementing improvement projects and advocating for better fisheries management.

A key element of the partnership, Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), use a collaborative and transparent approach to improve fisheries and fishing practices to meet the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Three FIPs have been established, and as a result of this significant development and investment, the amount of tuna that Thai Union supplies to the European market that is engaged in a FIP or MSC certified has increased from 0 percent in 2014 to more than 90 percent. Thai Union now has over 900 MSC-certified products in its seafood ranges in Europe and its UK brand, John West, has been awarded MSC ‘Canned Brand of the Year’ for the last two years. The volume of seafood sourced from MSC certified fisheries that Thai Union sells in Europe has increased from 5 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2018. The partnership has delivered other work in line with WWF best practices such as improving transparency, traceability and completing due diligence in supply chains.

In order to drive lasting change in fisheries at a regional level and to contribute to wider conservation in the Indian Ocean region, Thai Union’s brands, John West and Petit Navire provided significant funding to WWF’s East Africa Regional Sustainable Fisheries Programme. The programme achieved its objectives to empower people in Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania to manage community fisheries more sustainably.

The collective achievements of Thai Union and WWF have been recently recognised at the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019. In a testament to the partnership’s pivotal work, they were presented with the 2018 ‘Sustainable Supply Chain’ award.

Paul Reenan, Regional President, Thai Union Europe, said: “Improving the sustainability and transparency of Thai Union’s seafood supply chains, and working together with WWF to find solutions, was the foundation of this partnership. Our SeaChange® sustainability strategy demonstrates not only our commitments but our results as we continue our journey to provide sustainable and ethical seafood to the world. There is a clear opportunity to continue building on the work done over the last four years to improve the sustainability and management of our oceans.”

Mike Barrett, Executive Director of Science and Conservation, WWF-UK added: “WWF’s partnership with Thai Union is a crucial part of our mission to transform the way we produce and consume food globally. Thanks to our partnership, nearly all of the fisheries from which Thai Union sources its tuna for its European markets are now implementing fishery improvement projects to put in place tangible measures towards achieving the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries standard. We’re committed to supporting this process in the coming years, and we look forward to a time when certified tuna will be widely available in the countries which Thai Union supplies.”