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Thai Union: Traceability key to success of seafood sustainability efforts

The International Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST), launched in February 2020, has already gained the help of a few of the largest seafood firms on the earth, and that development is more likely to proceed as seafood firms concentrate on elevated sustainability, in response to Thai Union Group Sustainability Director Adam Brennan.

Brennan stated traceability is the linchpin holding the whole sustainability motion collectively. Talking throughout a convention panel at Seafood Expo Asia – held from 14 to 16 September 2022 on the Suntec Singapore Conference and Exhibition Heart – Brennan stated the business’s different sustainability targets cannot be met if traceability is not universally accepted as a compulsory a part of doing enterprise.

Thai Union’s traceability targets embody combating local weather change, selling a nutritious diet by means of seafood consumption, making certain sustainable sourcing, and defending employees inside its provide chain, Brennan stated. These targets will stay out of attain with out traceability within the firm’s provide chains, he stated.

“With out traceability, these targets are inconceivable,” Brennan stated. “How can we shield employees in our provide chain if we do not know what vessels [the seafood] is coming from?”

If an organization would not have a traceability system in place, it is inconceivable for them to make claims of sustainability, Brennan stated.

“Traceability is totally important in conducting full evaluation and due diligence of your provide chain,” Brennan stated. “It’s important that we get extra information from the provision chain.”

That willpower, he stated, is the results of an evaluation of Thai Union’s provide chain that exposed key steps the corporate may take to make sure its supply-chain meets greater requirements.

“After we began this 12 months, we weren’t essentially GDST-compliant,” Brennan stated. “However what we acknowledged is we have to drive one frequent normal if we’ll transfer ahead on traceability.”

That evaluation is why Thai Union has dedicated to being GDST-compliant and have full-chain traceability in its tuna provide chain by 2025, he stated.

“I feel traceability requires each actor alongside the provision chain to be on board. There’s an enormous quantity of schooling that is nonetheless wanted,” Brennan stated.

The excellent news for firms like Thai Union is that traceability could be worthwhile, in response to Hajime Tanaka, a analysis fellow with the Ocean Coverage Analysis Institute. Tanaka carried out in depth analysis on the Tokyo Bay Fish Passport that discovered prospects gravitated to seafood with better bona fide traceability.

The Tokyo Fish Passport consists of a QR code on seafood packaging, which hyperlinks to details about when and the place it was caught, the gear sort it was caught with, the way it was transported, and a profile of these concerned within the catching of their meals .

Tanaka discovered by means of his analysis that passport-supported seafood had a a lot greater chance of being bought, particularly amongst prospects seeking to purchase a kind of fish they’d by no means tried earlier than. As well as, repeat prospects – individuals who have a tendency to purchase fish extra usually – have been rather more keen to buy seafood with the Tokyo Fish Passport QR code current.

Via a number of trials and surveys, Tanaka discovered that the willingness to purchase straight translated to actual worth. Acording to his analysis, the Tokyo Fish Passport was equal to a worth of JPY 31 to JPY 35 (USD 0.21 to USD 0.24, EUR 0.22 to EUR 0.25) per sale.

“This traceability data can deliver financial advantages,” Tanaka stated.

Additional public schooling may improve that revenue margin, Tanaka stated, as shoppers have been keen to pay extra for traceability if they’d a better understanding of its significance.

“In some methods, it’s true, individuals do not realize the significance of issues till they’re proven,” he stated. “The willingness to pay for this data completely will depend on the literacy of the individuals. We’ve got to inform the individuals why it’s important.”

Brennan stated Thai Union’s work on enhancing the traceability of its seafood had led it to need much more details about its catch.

“In the beginning of our traceability [journey] … we did not actually know what we wished, and once we acquired data, we wished extra,” he stated.

Brennan stated to him, traceability is the “coronary heart and soul” of sustainability.

“There is a cause we place traceability on the [center] of our technique,” he stated. “Nothing is achievable with out it.”

Picture by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource

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