National Fish: Traceability software will reduce slavery in Thai supply chain
Pacific Andes International Holdings-owned US importer National Fish and Seafood is implementing traceability software at shrimp farms in Thailand to ensure slavery is not used in its supply chain, the company said.
By using the Farmforce and SourceTrace software at the Thailand shrimp farms which supply it, National Fish believes it can avoid any connection to forced labor, a practice that is reportedly common in the country's seafood industry.
The software will help the company "tap into the benefits of a cloud-based platform so farmers, processors, importers and buyers can all benefit from a transparent, traceable supply chain ensuring social and environmental compliance with international standards," National Fish said in a press release.
In 2015, James Baros, the company's aquaculture and sustainability manager, joined the Thai Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force, a group which aims to crack down on labor abuses and illegal fishing in Thailand.
The task force is focused on three main ways to combat Thailand's seafood slavery problem. First, it aims to implement "track and trace" systems, which will be verified internationally. Secondly, the group wants to spearhead the use of internationally recognized codes of conduct in Thai ports.
Finally, it hopes to push forward with fisheries improvement projects in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, two areas where labor abuses have reportedly taken place previously.
National Fish said that the company is committed to preventing human rights violations in pre-processing facilities. Earlier this year, the company helped a Thai supplier construct a feed mill to ensure that the company knew what was in its supply chain.
"This undertaking successfully further secured our supply chain, giving us increased control over all inputs ensuring legality and fair labor practices of our fishmeal suppliers and affiliated fishing vessels," Baros said.
The efforts toward combatting longstanding accusations of slavery and human rights abuses in Thailand comes as National Fish has endured a difficult few months. Its parent company, Pacific Andes, faces an effort to wind up its major China Fishery Group subsidiary and Pacific Andes managing director and vice-chairman Joo Siang Ng resigned in December.
Amid the corporate turmoil, the companies are beginning the process to sell off several subsidiaries, including its operations in Peru.
Additionally, Pacific Andes and China Fishery faces regulator investigations in Singapore and Hong Kong.