Caption: Thai Union and Mars Petcare implemented an innovative digital traceability pilot project where fishing vessels were outfitted with ‘Fleet One’ terminals and e-logbooks were used as a key link in the digital chain of custody verification system. Photo credit: Thai Union
12 SEPTEMBER 2018, BANGKOK — Thai Union Group PCL. and Mars Petcare, along with support from a coalition of partners and governments, have launched a short film to document how the two companies introduced digital traceability and utilized e-logbooks in supply chains to promote greater sustainability in the fishing industry.
The video is the final in a three-part series which chronicles an innovative digital traceability pilot project implemented last year in Thailand where fishing vessels were outfitted with ‘Fleet One’ terminals. Crew members, captains and fleet owners were also trained on chat applications which enable them to connect with families and peers while at sea—an industry first for Thai fisheries—to help boost human rights.
Footage in the most recent film explores how e-logbooks were used as a key link in the digital chain of custody verification system and supported industry efforts to guard against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, monitor labor standards on vessels and protect stock levels for the future.
Digitally recording details at the time of capture greatly reduces errors in data entry and enhances accuracy. And when paired with satellite connectivity, markets, traders or regulators on land can receive instant updates about catch time, catch location, species caught, the volume of fish caught, as well as where the fish are stored.
“The industry currently relies upon a traditional captain’s logbook and the captain manually recording the information. But now we have the technology to digitally record the information. We’re trying to introduce digital logbooks, so that electronically and digitally we can capture that information to give a greater deal of confidence, as well as full supply chain traceability,” said Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development. “Digital traceability and e-solutions represent a component of Thai Union’s Fishing for the Future technology program to tackle issues on human rights and IUU fishing, as well as bring greater transparency and traceability to the seafood industry.”
Traceability—the ability to track a product in granular detail from its place of origin all the way to the consumer—is a key component that benefits producers and consumers by bringing transparency to the entire system.
“This type of real-time information gives us the most updated data about the number of crew on board, working conditions, and working hours, which will already be a huge difference versus what is currently available,” said Isabelle Aelvoet, Mars Petcare’s global sustainability director. “Success for this pilot project could really mean a significant transformation in the seafood supply chain because for the first time there will be connectivity at sea.”
According to Dr. McBain, the pilot project not only has the potential to improve traceability and transparency throughout Thai waters, but also the global fishing industry since many issues in Thailand replicate themselves in fishing communities around the world.
The pilot project was implemented in line with Thai Union’s SeaChange® sustainability strategy. The entire three-part video series is now accessible on Thai Union’s official YouTube channel.
ABOUT THAI UNION GROUP
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 more than 40 years.
Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 135 billion (US$ 4.03 billion) and a global workforce of over 49,000 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, Qfresh, Monori, 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 is also part of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index.
Global Head of Sustainability and Innovation Communications