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Thai Union Frozen Products joins ILO's Good Labour Practices programme

Thai Union Frozen Products, the world's leading seafood processor and exporter, says it has shown its commitment to improving working conditions in the shrimp and seafood processing industry by joining the International Labour Organisation's Good Labour P

19 Sep 13
The Nation

"TUF already has in place an international code of conduct that regulates our operations and our supply chain to adopt and promote good labour practices and refrain from engaging in child labour or forced labour from catch to can," president Thiraphong Chansiri said at yesterday's signing of a letter of intent with the ILO.

"We have always been committed to good labour practices. We will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure all labour practices are of an internationally [recognised] ethical standard."

The GLP aims to help address child labour and forced labour in the industry.

It is expected to help TUF strengthen its current international labour practices, which also extends to its business operations in the other parts of the world, namely in North America and Europe.

"Living up to our international code of conduct is paramount to our global operations in order to ensure that TUF and our brands in North America and Europe remain a reliable provider of safe and premium-quality seafood products, a valuable investment for our shareholders, a dedicated corporate citizen in our communities and, most importantly, an employer of choice for our global workforce of more than 32,000 people," Thiraphong said.

The GLP provides a framework for cooperation between the government and individual businesses to work together to implement standards that respect Thai labour laws and international labour standards for better working conditions in the industry.

Encouraging move

It also combines practical workplace improvements and facilitates self-assessments of compliance to the guidelines and training services.

"It's encouraging to see that a Thai-based global brand like TUF openly supports good labour practices and will work with our organisation to improve the industry standards in Thailand," said Maurizio Bussi, the ILO's director for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

"We hope that in turn this inspires other Thai organisations to participate and become aware of the importance of promptly addressing child labour and other unacceptable forms of work across the seafood industry."

He foresees the strengthening of labour practices that in turn can lead to widespread benefits in terms of economic sustainability.

As part of its commitment to good labour practices, TUF became Thailand's first food processor to join the United Nations Global Compact, which is an international initiative that encourages businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies in such areas as human rights, labour standards, and pro-environment and anti-corruption practices.

As a participant, TUF commits to upholding the integrity of the compact's 10 binding principles and transparency in its reporting of how its business aligns with globally recognised ethical standards. Only 30 Thai-owned businesses are active participants of the compact, making this a significant step forward for the fishing and food processing industry.