June 16, 2015 (Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok) The Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, through its Committee on Labor and Committee on Fisheries Business, led by Dr. Poj Aramwatananont, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, hold a press conference to announce their collective support and commitment towards the Government’s policy in redressing IUU fishing and human trafficking and the application of the Amended Fisheries Act and the Amended Anti-Human Trafficking Act, as well as other related legislations. The private sector shall comply therewith by not purchasing marine products from fishing vessels engaged in IUU fishing, child labour employment and human trafficking. The private-sector also calls upon the Government to enforce the law stringently. The commitment announcement is carried out in conjunction with the Thai Frozen Foods Association, the Thai Tuna Industry Association, the Thai Food Processors’ Association, Thai Shrimp Association, and all their members especially key manufacturers within production chain such as Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF), Thai Union Group, Sea Value Group. Andaman Seafood Group, and TRF Feedmill Co., Ltd during the press conference held at Wimansuriya Room, Dusit Thaini Hotel.
According to Dr. Poj Aramwattananont, Thailand has borne the brunt of a series of accusations made by international media since of last year relating to child labour, slave labour, and human trafficking on board Thai fishing vessels. The situation has involved a further policy dimension following the subsequent issuing of a Yellow Card to Thailand by the European Union to urge Thailand to take immediate action in response yo IUU fishing. All these have wreaked havoc on the Thai seafood industry and the country’s image as a whole, In responds to this state of affairs, the current Thai Government led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha in his capacity as prime minister-cum- NCPO leader has been literally focused on the prevention and resolution thereof, which has successfully resulted in concrete outcomes.
The private sector, led by Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, in conjunction with the Thai Frozen Foods Association, the Thai Tuna industry Association, the Thai Food Processors’ Association, Thai Shrimp Association and all their members especially key manufacturers within the production chain such as Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF), Thai Union Group, Sea Value Group, Andaman Seafood Group, and TRF Feedmill Co., Ltd, has thus show their utmost support for and commitment towards the Government policy though a variety of collective public-private activities in order to redress such issues and to prevent problems related to the country’s labour and human trafficking issues in a sustainable manner. The joint private parties have thus issued the following statement in this connection :
1) Advocate, promote. and strictly comply with relevant legislations, including the Fisheries Act (2015) and the Anti-Human Trafficking No.2 )2015;
2) Discontinue the purchase of aquatic products from fishing vessels that fail to comply with relevant legislations. In additional. business contracts shall be terminated in cases where business operators with whom Thai business partners have concluded any such contracts are found to be engaged in IUU fishing or violation cases related to illegal labour practices and human trafficking;
3) Call upon the Government to effectively en force legislations across the board in a stringent, and efficient manner vis-à-vis vessels engaged in IUU activity and fishing vessels engaged in issues related to labour practiced and human trafficking. This applies to all IUU vessels operating in either Thai water or overseas waters, as well as other transactions in related industries such as the fishmeal industry; and
4) Encourage all parties throughout Thailand’s entire seafood supply chain to collectively adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability towards achieving sustainability for the country’s fisheries seafood industries.
Dr. Poj Aramwattananont firmly reiterates that this commitment announcement is designed to encourage entrepreneurs throughout the seafood supply chain or production chain across Thailand’s capture fishery sector and aquaculture to collectively adhere to the principle of accountability : applying sustainable and appropriate production practices in line with international standards, which is free from IUU fishing practices, as well as Illegal labour employment and human trafficking as a means to earn international recognition. This truly and effectively shows the public-private common commitment towards the resolution of labour, human trafficking and IUU issues.
This particularly holds true in the cases of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Thai Frozen Foods Association the Thai Tuna Industry Association, the Thai Food Processors’ Association. Thai Shrimp Association, and all their members especially key manufacturers within the production chain such as Chareon Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF), Thai Union Group, Sea Value Group, Andaman Seafood Group, and TRF Feedmill Co., Ltd. All the parties mentioned above put an emphasis on such issues, and have consistently complied with labour legislations at all levels. As yet, no child labour, forced labour nor human trafficking has been practiced.
To the contrary, workers in the sector have always been provide with satisfactory labour welfare benefits. These moves, especially the total ban on the purchase of materials from illegal producers (fishing vessels and processing plants) and/or any supplier engaged in illegal labour practices/human trafficking; the country’s fishery and fishmeal industries follows a righteous and sustainable developmental trajectory.
Contact information :
Dr. Poj Aramwattananont
Vice Chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand
Mobile Phone: 082-8225623