Businesses in the UK’s Sustainable Seafood Coalition have agreed on commitments that recognise the risk of modern slavery and social responsibility in their supply chains.
Members of the coalition, of which environmental law organisation ClientEarth is the secretariat, recently agreed on new additions to their code of conduct on responsible sourcing, which are the first steps in acknowledging key social and ethical issues.
In recent years, there have been a number of investigations exposing serious cases of modern slavery and forced labour practices in the seafood industry worldwide, with companies across the supply chain affected.
The Sustainable Seafood Coalition has updated its code on environmentally responsible fish and seafood sourcing with the following statements:
- SSC members recognise that social responsibility is another critical pillar of sustainability in the global seafood supply chain;
- Members comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 where applicable; and,
- Members have policies that consider social and ethical challenges in seafood sourcing in their supply chains.
Sustainable Seafood Coalition 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 Sustainable Seafood Coalition in the UK has resulted in approximately three-quarters of all seafood sold in UK supermarkets being labelled and sourced responsibly.
What is the SSC?
The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) is an association of businesses that sell seafood in the UK. We work together to agree on voluntary industry standards on environmental sourcing and labelling, and collaborate to solve sustainability challenges. The codes of conduct that underpin the SSC were written by a cross-industry group including retailers, processors, brands and restaurants.
Any businesses interested in joining the SSC can find out more on their website.