As a global company, we have always taken seriously our responsibility to the people and communities in the regions where we operate. And those communities are spread all over the world – from Asia to Africa, and from Europe to the U.S. They are integral to the success of Thai Union and so we give back to them through a wide range of initiatives – cleaning marine environments, helping end hunger through food donations, hosting workshops and football clinics and by building schools for the children of migrant workers, as part of our commitment to helping improve their lives. People & Communities has been one of our key pillars since we launched SeaChange® in 2016 and will remain so as we prepare to launch the next phase of our global sustainability strategy.
We are incredibly passionate about education at Thai Union. We believe education is an important foundation for a better life, which is why it has become such a key focus of our community outreach. Education also supports the United Nations Sustainable Development (UN SDG) goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. Since 2013, we have spent THB 10 million to build five preschools for the children of migrant workers in Thailand in partnership with the Labour Protection Network (LPN). These schools are designed to help prepare the children so they can later transition to the Thai education system and progress to primary school. Not only that, but these schools give peace of mind to their working parents by providing a safe environment for them during the day.
Each year, Thai Union also provides other education and wellbeing initiatives for children, ranging from hosting a science camp to teach students basic science and how to better develop logical thinking and observational skills, to nutritional workshops, to photography workshops, providing nutritional information to consumers and local communities, and co-hosting football clinics with the Samut Sakhon Football Club. We also understand the importance of supporting and nurturing the arts and cultural activities, and we were the proud sponsor of the 21st Bangkok International Festival of Dance and Music in 2019. We also sponsor professional athletes such as Thai golfer Pajaree Anannarukarn, and in Europe sponsor football teams for homeless people.
Of course, supporting our communities in times of need is also incredibly important to everyone at Thai Union. Natural disasters have a major impact on communities and Thai Union is a major relief donor to help people during difficult times, from food donations and pet food donations for those affected by flooding in Thailand and Myanmar, to providing humanitarian aid during tropical storms. Emergency support has been even more critical in recent times as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Thai Union teams around the world have made donations, including food from SEALECT and FISHO in Thailand, King Oscar tuna to hospitals in China, protective medical equipment donated by Thai Union’s MerAlliance and Petit Navire in France to local hospitals, John West food donations in the UK to support the Age UK elderly community, and Chicken of the Sea donating more than 500,000 servings of food to hunger relief in the U.S.
As part of Thai Union’s commitment to Health Living, Healthy Oceans, we partnered with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in 2018 to help clean up Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG); and our employees have participated in a series of beach, canal and park cleanups in their local communities around the world.
Importantly, we also invest in our own people. We work hard to develop our workers on their individual needs, with capacity building programs to support their career development, while also offering leadership development programs. In 2018, the company introduced the Thai Union Group Diversity Policy, with gender diversity forming a key component given the large number of women working for Thai Union and within its supply chains. Thai Union has also implemented a series of initiatives to support migrant workers, ensuring they are treated equally and fairly, working with NGOs to facilitate dialogue and capacity building through trainings.