Thai Union has published its progress report for the year 2020, which shows that the seafood group has exceeded its sustainable tuna goals.
Around 87% of the group’s branded tuna was sourced from MSC certified fisheries and Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) in 2020, well above its target of 75%, putting it on track to hit its goal of 100%.
Tuna Commitment Progress
In the past five years, Thai Union made significant progress towards greater seafood traceability and sustainability.
These include developing and implementing nine tuna FIPs, with the progress of each rated and verified independently by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and made publicly available.
The group has advocated for improved fisheries management measures to be adopted at regional/ocean levels and installed electronic monitoring systems on longline vessels to increase transparency and the number of vessels with coverage.
Thai Union worked with other groups, such as the FAD Watch project in the Seychelles, the Ocean Disclosure Project, and other third-party initiatives, such as the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, and the UN Global Compact for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Another measure taken to achieve its goal is 100% compliance with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation conservation measures, of which Thai Union’s Kevin Bixler has been appointed Chair of its Board of Directors.
As part of the progress report, Thai Union also introduced its Tuna Commitment up to 2025, which includes the pledge that "by 2025, the tuna Thai Union sources will be from vessels and suppliers that demonstrate operational best practice to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and modern slavery."
The updated commitment reflects the needs of customers and stakeholders and supports the evolving dialogue on seafood sustainability.
A key element of the new commitment is a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to work towards implementing 100% ‘on-the-water’ monitoring of Thai Union’s tuna supply chain by 2025, which will include the deployment of electronic monitoring on vessels in the Company’s international tuna supply chains.
Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of Thai Union, said he was "incredibly proud of the progress that Thai Union has made towards our goal of ensuring 100% of our branded tuna is from sustainable fisheries."
"But we know we have a lot more work to do, which is why we have set new goals for 2025. Traceability remains critical to achieving these goals, and we will continue to work with our customers and stakeholders to ensure these are met, reflecting our commitment to prevent modern slavery and IUU fishing in our supply chains."