Supermarkets recognise slavery risk in seafood supply chains

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
17 September 2018

The UK Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SCC) has updated its code to strengthen provisions around social responsibility and modern slavery.

The SCC, whose members include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Lidl, now states members must comply with the Modern Slavery Act and have policies that “consider social and ethical challenges in seafood sourcing in their supply chains”.

The seafood sector has come under fire for cases of forced labour and modern slavery, mostly in Southeast Asia.

SCC coordinator Oliver Tanqueray said: “The risk of modern slavery is taken very seriously by the seafood industry and it’s positive that these leading UK seafood businesses formally agree to recognise the challenges.

“Evidence shows that there can be a strong correlation between environmental damage and human rights abuses; businesses which don’t respect the rights of people in their supply chain are less likely to respect the health of the natural environment they’re sourcing from.

“Businesses publicly recognising such challenges is the crucial first step to finding solutions. Recognising social responsibility in our environmental code was a logical progression.”

The SSC said as a result of its work around three-quarters of all seafood sold in UK supermarkets was labelled as sourced responsibly.

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