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The study has analyzed 35 large marketing groups of this product throughout its entire value chain

Only 11% of tuna suppliers to Europe have mechanisms to detect slavery practices in their production chain

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 02:30 (GMT + 9)

Only 11% of tuna suppliers to Europe have mechanisms to detect slavery practices in their production chain

The tropical tuna fishery is one of the most punished for vilation
systematic of human rights and modern slavery practices on board

    • Half of these companies have no human rights action processes and only 17% integrate grievance mechanisms for their workers
Madrid - According to a study carried out by Deloitte and published by the European tuna fleet, the large companies supplying canned tuna to large European areas are especially lax with surveillance and prosecution of the violation of the human rights of workers throughout throughout the production chain and do not envision, throughout their processes, any mechanism to identify the increasing practices of modern slavery on board tuna vessels, especially in Asian fleets. In fact, and according to the study, only 50% of these supply companies have human rights action processes.
The study, which has analyzed 35 large marketing groups of this product throughout its value chain, shows that, in the case of slavery, only 11% have internal policies and monitoring procedures. to detect the risk of these practices, and only 17% integrate complaints mechanisms for their workers into their processes. Especially striking is the fact that only one of these large groups has established explicit bans on slavery in its supply chain.
Contradiction with the attitude of consumers and department stores
Deloitte's study warns that this attitude of the suppliers is opposite to the tendencies of the large distribution areas towards commercialization policies of sustainable products. Although in the case of fishery products, large distributors focus more on environmental and biological sustainability than that which affects the human rights and working conditions of workers.
This would explain why large chains such as Leclerc, Aldi or Eroski certify with the MSC seal the sustainability of their fishery products, but that there is nevertheless a tropical tuna fishing vessel from Taiwan, which has lost this seal due to being under investigation. following the death of an on-board observer for unknown reasons. In this regard, it should be noted that observers are responsible for verifying compliance with the regulations that regulate fishing activity and, according to the Professional Association of Observers, in the last five years, nine of these professionals have died on board.
Lidl's clients most concerned about human rights
When analyzing the attitude of consumers in this regard, Deloitte's study, based on the responses of 11,000 customers in large European stores, indicates that, in the case of Spain, 76% of consumers have modified their criteria from the purchase of fishery products towards those that are environmentally and socially sustainable. In the case of tuna cans and asked about what factors are most relevant to define that sustainability, Lidl's clients value the protection of human rights and working conditions the most compared to those of other distribution chains.
In fact, on a scale of 1 to 5, the average of Spanish consumers places this factor as the fourth, with 2.8 points, and behind respect for marine resources (3.6), environmental impact (3 , 2) and to the legality of the fishing practice (2,9). However, Lidl's clients rank human rights as the third most relevant element, with an assessment of 3.1 and a short distance from factors of respect for marine resources and the environment, both with 3.5 points.
According to Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC, “the European fleets of tropical tuna have long been denouncing that this fishery is one of the most punished for the systematic violation of human rights and slavery practices on board. But this reality, far from being something specific, seems to tend to become a scourge that may be affecting thousands of sailors and without the European consumer being aware, especially if we take into account the latest census of Chinese fishing boats operating throughout the world that amounts to 17,000 ships ”.
Morón adds that consumer awareness of environmental sustainability seems to be gaining ground, but I think the time has come for the European Union to face the humanitarian problem in fishing once and for all. We cannot continue importing fish, also with zero tariffs, from companies and ships that despise human life. Consumers are already beginning to detect this situation and are beginning to reject it, and the European tuna fleet wonders what European politicians are waiting to do the same. "



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