Thai Union celebrates past, positions sustainability and innovation as key to future during 40th anniversary exhibition

29 NOVEMBER 2017, BANGKOK — Thai Union Group PCL, one of the world’s leading seafood companies, celebrated its 40th anniversary with an exhibition at Siam Paragon’s Royal Paragon Hall in the last two days. An elaborate exhibit featuring Thai Union’s historical milestones traced the company’s journey over that period for all attendees to witness, including a showcase of key recent sustainable development and innovation initiatives positioned at the heart of Thai Union’s business—as well as its future.

"It has been a remarkable 40 years for our company, full of tremendous achievements. We have fully embraced our role as a leading agent for change,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, Thai Union’s CEO. “That is particularly true of our recent efforts in sustainability and innovation. When I reflect on these accomplishments, I often recall the old saying that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Thai Union’s sustainability strategy, SeaChange®, launched in 2016. Thai Union considers SeaChange® as a journey that covers every aspect of the seafood business: from how the company looks after the oceans to how it manages waste; from the responsibility Thai Union takes for its workers to building brighter futures for the people and communities where the company operates.

“Traceability is the backbone of our sustainability strategy,” said Darian McBain, Ph.D., Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development. “When it comes to sustainability, the key is the ability to fully trace seafood—from catch to consumption; with full traceability in place, Thai Union will be able to identify, investigate and improve key issues such as labor and sourcing.”

In December 2016, in line with SeaChange®, Thai Union made a global tuna commitment to sourcing 100 percent of its branded tuna from fisheries that are either Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, or engaged in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) to move them toward MSC certification. As part of the commitment, Thai Union is investing US$90m in initiatives, including 11 new FIPs, which will increase the supply of sustainable tuna.

Building upon SeaChange®, Thai Union entered into a joint agreement in July with Greenpeace to commit to more sustainable, socially-responsible seafood—acknowledging a shared vision for healthy seas now and for future generations. In June, at a World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in New York City, Thai Union committed to the WEF’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, which supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thai Union also signed a groundbreaking pledge as part of its membership in the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship, committing to improve operations as well as challenge the rest of the seafood industry to follow, all with the goal of helping the world achieve the SDGs.

“Thai Union looks forward to continuing to execute our SeaChange® sustainability strategy, strengthened and enhanced by the joint agreement with Greenpeace, along with our other collaborations, to work toward healthy seas now and for future generations,” said Chansiri.

The 40th anniversary exhibit also demonstrated Thai Union’s clear focus on the importance of innovation to Thai Union’s future. In 2015, Thai Union established its Global Innovation Incubator (Gii), making a THB900 million investment to innovation.

In collaboration with Mahidol University, Gii supports researchers initiating and enhancing new areas of food research and technology. It develops and enhances new products, packaging and processing to add more value to Thai Union’s seafood business and serve growing customer demands and nutritional needs.

Gii has patented sliceable tuna which gives consumers fresh, natural tuna in a great tasting and convenient format.  In addition, Gii has enhanced processing for tuna sausage to create a delicious and nutritious sausage with only one percent fat. Both food products are 100 percent natural, and are currently in the market introduction stage, and receiving a very strong reception from customers around the world.

Additionally, Gii is developing marine ingredients that maximize use of raw materials to create important human nutrient ingredients used in a variety of categories. This includes nutraceuticals from highly refined tuna oil with Omega 3 DHA, critical to infant health and cognitive development.

“We’re very committed to invest in innovation as it will help us deliver what consumers want now, and what they will want, and need, in the future,” Chansiri added.

By 2020, innovation will play a bigger role in Thai Union’s business and is expected to contribute 10 percent of the company’s total sales projected at US$8 billion, said Tunyawat Kasemsuwan, Ph.D., global innovation director at Thai Union.

From humble beginnings in 1977, Thai Union has grown into a global seafood company with more than 49,000 employees worldwide and gained consumer trust and confidence around the world. In the first 40 years, Thai Union has grown a portfolio of highly-respected seafood brands and has production facilities around the world. Over 70 percent of the company’s total sales come from the U.S. and Europe.

According to Chansiri, Thai Union successfully reached its 40th anniversary milestone as the result of relentless hard work and dedication to provide consumers with great quality and highly nutritious seafood products, along with its heightened focus on sustainability and innovation.

“Looking forward, we will continue to make progress and use our leadership position and collective strengths to face down and resolve the challenges that confront us,” said Chansiri. “I take great solace in the belief that, at Thai Union, we have the right people in the right places, poised to do our part in making a real and transformative impact for future generations. We look forward to the next 40 years.”

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About Thai Union Group PCL

Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for almost 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 125 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) and a global workforce of over 46,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets (DJSI) in 2014. In 2017, Thai Union was named to the DJSI for the fourth consecutive year. Thai Union has also been included in the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. http://seachangesustainability.org.

Media Contacts

Ms. Krissana Parnsoonthorn
Head of External Affairs, Thai Union Group PCL
M: +66.0.61.418.1461
Office: +662.298.0024 ext 4423
E: Krissana.parnsoonthorn@thaiunion.com 

Ms. Jarunee Taemsamran
Corporate Communications, Thai Union Group PCL
M: +66.0.65.517.4085
Office: +662.298.0024 ext 4420
E: Jarunee.Taemsamran@thaiunion.com