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Thai Union Intensifies “Social Effort” By Joining UN Global Compact

Thailand’s leading seafood producer, Thai Union Frozen Products (TUF) has joined an initiative that encourages businesses across the globe to implement sustainable and socially responsible policies.

TUF President, Thiraphong Chansiri said that by joining this program called United Nations’ Global Compact “we are showing our commitment to its 10 internationally recognized policies and standards of sound business practices in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental practice and anti-corruption.”

Regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products, TUF has annual sales exceeding Bt 100 billion and a workforce of more than 32,000, with a brand portfolio including Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu and Century, as well as leading Thai brands Sealect, Fisho and Bellotta.

Chansiri added: “When TUF was founded in 1988 we made economic, social and environmental practices part of our vision to be a sustainable company, and that commitment continues today as we expand across the globe. Living up to these commitments through the UN Global Compact will ensure that TUF, and all its global brands and businesses, remains a reliable provider of safe and quality seafood products, a valuable investment for our shareholders, a dedicated corporate citizen in our communities and, most important, an employer of choice for our global workforce of more than 32,000 people.”

The company has been working with one of the U.S. big three tuna brands, Chicken of the Sea and MW Brands in Europe in order to adopt international best practices into its labor framework and help it to fulfill the expectations of various stakeholders.

Director of sustainability at TUF, Dr. Wit Soontaranun outlined that the company has been improving its brands and subsidiaries in the U.S. and Europe to establish high standard for workplace codes of conduct to be applied to all its global operations.

According to TUF, its most recent example of commitment to responsible business practices is its collaboration with the Labor Rights Promotion Network and the local government of Samut Sakhon to establish the first TUF Care Centre in the province.

Last year Thai Union and another tuna processor in Bangkok faced accusations of illegal labor, child labor and bad working conditions from the Finnish organization Finnwatch. The Spanish organization of Canned Seafood Producers ANFACO also accused Thai processors in general of child labor. Thai Union has always fiercely denied the allegations, and hard evidence was never provided, but nevertheless the company suffered image damage, and was confronted with several worried retail customers.