Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Tuna Brands Fail to Tackle Modern Slavery

  • Published on
    June 3, 2019
  • Category:
    Supply Chain
Hero Banner

The majority of canned tuna brands are failing to address modern slavery in their supply chains according to a new report by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

The report, “Out of Sight: Modern Slavery in Pacific Supply Chains of Canned Tuna,” surveyed 35 canned tuna companies and supermarkets representing 80 of the world’s largest retail canned tuna brands. Fifteen of these companies failed to respond, including Tesco, Walmart, and Costco.

Take Action: Help End Forced Labor

Incredibly, only three companies — Thai Union, Simplot, and Tri Marine — said that they require all subcontractors to enforce anti-slavery policies in their supply chains.

The Maritime Executive reports:

Four of the 35 companies surveyed (Thai Union, Kraft Heinz Australia, Target and REWE Group) said they conduct due diligence specifically to uncover modern slavery in their supply chains, while 80 percent of companies failed to disclose where in the Pacific their tuna comes from, with only 20 percent saying they have mapped their entire supply chains.

While 60 percent of companies have a complaints mechanism, only six out of 35 (Thai Union,Bumble Bee Foods, Clover Leaf Seafoods, Kaufland, Metro AG and Coles Group) extend this to workers in their supply chains.

15 of the 35 take part in at least one key multi-stakeholder initiative, and 16 have policies requiring the company and its suppliers to support the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Equally notable was that Thai Union is the only company that has engaged with a trade union, in this case the International Transport Workers Federation.

The fishing industry has been under pressure to address human rights abuses, including human trafficking and forced labor, after major investigations have revealed exploitation of fishermen, most of whom are migrant workers.

These workers often lack bargaining power and can become stranded at sea when abuses arise, unable to report to escape exploitation.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
iris mccormick
5 years ago

Please can you say which UK tuna products are free from slavery. Line and pole caught.

anonymous for a reason
anonymous for a reason
5 years ago

worked at simplot in caldwell, idaho . they were not honest in their reporting, making workers commit fraud by initialing tasks as done, that never got done. not only dishonest, but a food safety issue that risks the health of customers. few days ago, ran into former worker & he brought that up w/out my asking him. he said that he was told by current employees that they’re still doing that. harassment, etc was also rampant.

This week

From Ecuador's fields to global supply chains: Freedom United tackles modern slavery

As hundreds of Ecuadorian workers await a verdict in a milestone modern slavery case, Freedom United's Executive Director, Joanna Ewart-James, sat down with German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle News to explain modern slavery in supply chains and everyday products. Chances are you've used a forced labor product The Deutsche Welle report follows landmark rulings on cases of exploitation in Ecuador at Furukawa Plantaciones C.A., a Japanese company that

| Thursday June 20, 2024

Read more