Underway! Pilot: Labor-Safe Screen

The Sustainability Incubator and Humanity United have undertaken a project to develop the Labor-Safe Screen.  Industry partners are invited to participate in the pilot phase of the project January to April 2014.

The Labor-Safe Screen is for seafood industry users.  Plug basic product info in to generate a map of the supply chain.  Hotspots for impact will light up.  Recommendations are provided for what your company can do to improve social impact where labour overexploitation may be an issue.  A database takes care of the knowledge side.  That makes it easier, cheaper and faster to find out what the social conditions are around supplies and to know what to do.

Ten major export products from Thailand will be run through the pilot phase to test the Labor-Safe Screen.  First there will be a research phase to trace the flow of all supplies for each product from fishing at-sea through trans-shipping, primary processing and co-manufacture of export products.  Second is a verification phase to help ground-truth the results.

The Sustainability Incubator is looking for industry partners interested in the pilot of the Labor-Safe Screen.

The products for the pilot are:

1. Small & byproduct tuna-tonggol, albacore, skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye

2. Surimi type products

3. Trawl bycatch-fish meal for aquaculture

4. Trawl bycatch-fish meal and fish oils for pet food

5. Fresh or frozen tuna-yellowfin mix

6. Wild shrimp-multiple species

7. Farmed shrimp-vannamei

8. Squid

9. Crab

10. Farmed freshwater fish

Please contact Katrina at info@sustainability-incubator.com for more information.

Labor-Safe Screen: Industry Advisory Group

Some importers of seafood in the UK and North America say they feel in the dark about human trafficking in the fishing sector.  A lot has been said in the media this year about overexploitation in fleets and in the processing sector in countries as diverse as New Zealand and Thailand.

Good news out of Thailand on November 11 2013 when eight Thai seafood organizations made a public commitment to stamp out illegal labor in Thai seafood supply chains.  They formed a new organization called the Thai Fishery Producers Coalition for the purpose.  See John Sackton’s November 11 story on Seafood.com “Thai Fishery Producers Coalition leads fishery supply chain in declaration to stop illegal labor”.

This adds momentum to the September 17 announcement about a new program to promote Good Labour Practices (GLP) in the Thai fisheries industry hosted by the International Labour Office.  The program will share guidelines and training in the Thai seafood processing sector.  See http://www.ilo.org/asia/info/public/newsitems/WCMS_221563/lang–en/index.htm.

These developments are positive and bring new opportunities to seafood companies to steadily improve labour conditions.  However they do not target the part of the industry where trafficking risks are highest.  The poorest labour practices are believed to occur nearer to the front-end of commodity production for example at-sea, in trans-shipping and in primary processing.

Nobody can trace supplies yet all the way through this zone.  Verification is another issue.  The goal of the Labor-Safe Screen is to take care of both in a single step.

The Sustainability Incubator is looking for seafood companies to participate in an industry advisory group to inform the development of the Labor-Safe Screen.  It’s a tough issue to take on.  Our position is that industry self-regulation on this issue will have the biggest impact and potentially enormous impact.  We’d like to welcome seafood companies that need to act sooner than later.

The project will generate knowledge about the social conditions around seafood supplies and export products from Thailand.  Impacts can be improved.  Do you have ideas?  Are you seeking advice for what to do?

This is a confidential and voluntary opportunity.  Please consider joining us to build a Labor-Safe Screen that helps seafood companies to manage supplies better for positive impact.

Please contact Katrina at info@sustainability-incubator.com for more information.


Workshop on Human Trafficking in the Fishing Sector

This past week I attended a workshoScreen Shot 2013-11-06 at 8.19.50 PMp on trafficking in the seafood sector co-hosted by the US State Department and Humanity United. At the Sustainability Incubator we’ve put a team together to develop a screen for import seafood products.  The project is underway and it was a privilege to introduce it in Washington DC.

A group of people working to solve this issue were part of the workshop.  It was a pleasure to meet Ambassador CeDBaca who knew his stuff and was on his game.  An honor to be a part of it.