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Seafood suppliers must tackle slavery risk, say campaigners by Sarah Murray January 08,2019   |  Source: FT

While textile sweatshops have long been under the spotlight, the world has more recently awakened to another form of industrial abuse: seafood slavery.

The global fishing industry has been tainted by reports of workers held against their will, working for months on boats in 20-hour shifts and being beaten or even killed.

Such reports have highlighted the tension common in several sectors of the food sector — delivering cheap food and controlling costs while preserving good practice.

For the companies buying seafood to satisfy consumer demand, the challenge is to eradicate such abuses from a supply chain that is opaque and highly fragmented.

However, while the task of monitoring conditions in the industry looks daunting, a range of tools and technologies are making it easier for companies to lower the risk of abuse.

The seafood supply chain is complex. It involves transshipments, processing facilities (owned by seafood brands or operated independently) and armies of brokers and other intermediaries.

“It’s very difficult to have oversight of what goes,” says Ed Marcum, managing director of Humanity United, a human rights-focused foundation. “You don’t have competent systems that tell you who’s at sea or who the workers are — and often they are

 

© THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD 2019

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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