Largest Thai food producer partners in anti-IUU campaign

Thailand’s largest food exporter CPF said it would partner with the Seafood Task Force to promote sustainable fishing and measures against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, as the health of the oceans has become a global concern.

The Seafood Task Force, founded in 2014, consists of major retailers, suppliers, and civil society groups, many of them based in developed and Western countries. The organization’s original aim was to work with Thailand’s shrimp processing and feed companies to ensure no labor abuse was involved in production.

The goals have been expanded to cover all fishing and seafood production and to drive social and environmental changes through creating responsible, transparent, and traceable supply chains. Thailand’s government has also been implementing measures to achieve the same goals and has been holding workshops on traceability for ship owners and captains.

The private sector is the dominant player in the industry, however, and as Thailand’s largest food exporter CPF is taking a leadership role in adopting new methods to promote traceability and sustainability.

Sujint Thammasart, the chief operating officer for aquaculture business at CPF, said the company is working with the Seafood Task Force and the government to examine, evaluate and employ new fishing technologies and innovations to tackle IUU fishing.

A delegation of Thai fishers, boat owners, government officials, academics and CPF representatives recently visited the United Kingdom and its ports research and observe sustainable fishing practices.

IUU fishing is a global problem, and fishing fleets from even some advanced economies are committing IUU violations. The European Union had warned Thailand that it needed to do a better job tackling IUU fishing. In recognition of Thailand’s efforts on the issue, the E.U. recently rescinded its warning and praised Thailand’s progress.