Supply Management magazine is a publication of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). The February 2016 print and online edition feature on Modern Day Slavery lauds the efforts of Patagonia and Nestlé for facing up to the reality that forced labor exists in corporate supply chains and focusing on efforts to effectively address the problem.
We accomplished a lot this year. If you appreciate our work, please support us by clicking HERE. Selected 2015 highlights include: At a meeting convened by Secretary of State Kerry at the White House in January, we released a report highlighting the riskiest sectors at the intersection of Trafficking in Persons and government procurement. In June,The Atlantic reportedon our work with Patagonia to address forced labor in apparel production in Taiwan. In November, Nestle released the results of an assessment of its fish supply chain including our findings of high risk practices on fishing boats, processing plants and shrimp farms, as well as the company’s action plan to address these vulnerabilities.
On the heels of the news of Verité’s assessment with Nestle’s Thai Shrimp supply chain, a new AP investigative report has discovered child labor and human slavery in several other global seafood supply chains. In the report, AP tracked shrimp from different sites in Thailand which then made its way to some of the largest retailers and restaurant brands in the world. To discuss this major new report, Verité CEO Dan Viederman was interviewed by CBC about how and why this occurs as well as examples of how consumers and companies can take steps to gain greater knowledge and help alleviate these issues.
Nestlé contracted Verité to conduct a three-month assessment of its shrimp supply chain in Thailand. The report, which Nestlé has made public, identified forced labor and other human rights abuses endemic to the sector. Nestlé has also released its Action Plan to address these issues.
The Thai seafood sector remains in the crosshairs of consumer, media, regulatory, NGO and brand attention. On the pressure side, the European Union has issued Thailand a yellow card or threat of a trade ban if it doesn’t crack down on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The US State and Labor departments have released reports harshly critical of labor abuses, including labor trafficking risks. The Guardian, Associated Press and New York Times, among others, have published a devastating series of stories describing modern day slavery among Burmese and Cambodian migrants sold to or held by Thai fishing boat captains. Consumers have filed lawsuits against Mars, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé SA and Costco Wholesale for selling slavery-tainted seafood products (farmed shrimp and pet food).