Leading food firm CPF vows to fight IUU fishing

One of Thailand’s largest food conglomerates Charoen Pokphand Foods said last week it is working to eliminate source materials resulting from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing from its supply chain and to persuade its suppliers to adopt sustainable practices.

Thailand has been waging a campaign to end all IUU fishing by Thai vessels and to stop non-Thai ships from bringing IUU fishing catches into Thai ports. The government is implementing a comprehensive set of measures, including requiring vessels to install location-monitoring systems, to bring an end to the problem.

The country is also working on developing more effective traceability systems, an essential but challenging tool to keep Thailand IUU-fishing free. The European Union has praised the Kingdom for the steps it has taken.

Key to the campaign is cooperation from the private sector. Charoen Pokphand Foods, known widely as CPF, is the largest producer of shrimp in Thailand and the region. While the company buys most of its shrimp from contract farmers, it produces and sells them fishmeal to feed the shrimp.

The challenge facing CPF is to guarantee that the suppliers it buys the fish to make fishmeal from are not engaged in IUU fishing. CPF has announced a target to implement a complete audit of critical suppliers on sustainability aspects covering environmental, human rights and labor issues, specifically for fishmeal suppliers, by 2020.

The company said that fishmeal being used by its contract shrimp farms in Thailand is IUU free and the byproduct of fish-processing plants. All the fishmeal used in its Thai operations has been certified as such by the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization Responsible Supply standard (IFFO RS), an independent international marine products audit and certification organization.

“We have a purchasing policy to only purchase byproduct fish meal, which is traceable and sourced from processing plants certified by IFFO RS, and bycatch fish meal from suppliers that have been certified according to international standards or legally examined by various parties, including officials, representatives from the Department of Fisheries, traders, consumers and academia,” said Sujint Thammasart, chief operating officer for at CPF.

He added that in 2019, CPF anticipates that the fishmeal used in its Vietnam, India, and Philippines operations will partially come from certified fish meal factories under the IFFO RS, the best international standard for fish meal production and sourcing.

The goal is to achieve complete certification by 2020.

Photo courtesy of https://www.cpfworldwide.com