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Thai Union director recognised for combating modern slavery. Thai Union Group’s Global Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Dr Darian McBain has been among those recognised for their outstanding contribution to combating modern slavery at the Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Awards.

McBain received the 2019 Freedom Award at a ceremony at the University of Technology Sydney, for her “outstanding contribution to the field of ethical sourcing and human rights in the seafood industry.”

“It is an absolute honour to receive this award, particularly for an issue that I am incredibly passionate about,” McBain said. “Modern slavery has no place in any industry, and I am so proud and grateful for Thai Union’s resolute commitment to addressing this issue at every level of the business and throughout the seafood industry.”

McBain urged those gathered at the event to reward companies for transparency and digging deep into their supply chains. “Without shining the light of transparency onto modern slavery in supply chains, it will continue to flourish in the dark.”

McBain was among several recipients of the 2019 Freedom Award, which also included Outland Denim founder James Bartle, former federal MP Chris Crewther and Mans Carlsson-Sweeny, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Research at Ausbil. Joanne Pugsley from Anti-Slavery Australia, received the Anti-Slavery Australia Award.

Confronted with significant challenges around human rights violations and trafficking throughout the Thai fishing industry shortly after joining Thai Union in 2015, McBain identified these crises as a catalyst for change in the industry. Since then, McBain has implemented sweeping reforms to Thai Union’s operations, including creating the SeaChange® sustainability strategy – a comprehensive set of commitments and actions to ensure the company operates sustainably, and constantly improves to help change the seafood industry for good.

Since introducing SeaChange®, the strategy has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on tackling the issue of modern slavery in seafood supply chains. McBain and the Thai Union team work at every level of the seafood industry – from vessels and manufacturing, to importers and retailers, as well as working on pledges on global platforms, such as the United Nations and World Economic Forum.

The biennial Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Awards began in 2011 and are used to build awareness around slavery and human trafficking, while celebrating the positive differences individuals and organizations make in addressing these issues.