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The summit had already been arranged before the publication of recent media reports alleging labor abuse

Seafood Task Force announces first India summit for new members & industry stakeholders in Mumbai - April '24

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Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The Seafood Task Force (STF), a leading trade association that represents members of global tuna and shrimp supply chains, is holding its inaugural India summit in April for new members and industry stakeholders.

Founded in 2014, the STF brings together the world’s largest retailers, seafood brands and their seafood partners to drive supply chain oversight and continuous improvement from vessel to plate.

Nine Indian members have joined the STF since October 2023, including the country’s largest exporter of shrimp, and the summit will introduce to them the traceability and assessment models that have been successfully implemented in Thailand, working alongside the Royal Thai government.

 The summit had already been arranged before the publication of recent media reports alleging labor abuse, environmental degradation and the use of banned antibiotics in the India shrimp industry amid claims of a breakdown in auditing practices.

The STF was founded a decade ago after similar allegations were made about Thai shrimp production and since then it has pioneered a step-by step process that helps retailers, brands and their supply chain partners to set expectations across the supply chain. The STF provides practical tools for members to produce fully traceable, ethically produced and environmentally responsible seafood, meeting international social and environmental standards and growing due diligence requirements and maximizing their ability to compete.

Some important members of STF

Tangible results have included national traceability in Thailand, accountability on the water, codes of conduct, improvements with responsible recruitment and reduced environmental degradation.

The summit in Mumbai will focus on:

  • Bringing all key stakeholders together including government (MPEDA, EIA and Regional Departments of Fisheries) trading associations and manufacturers to engage and actively participate in the STF process.
  • Sharing best practices from the STF’s work in Thailand and clearly demonstrating its value proposition.
  • Sharing Country baseline data on Social, Traceability and Environment gathered from research and onsite assessment pilot work already conducted by the STF with 25 Pilot assessments already completed at farms, feed mills, fishmeal plants and fishing vessels.
  • Setting clear expectations for the group centred around the STF 2024 Workplan in India, including member supply chain mapping, traceability, assessment, capacity building and remediation. 98 further assessments are planned in 2024.

STF Executive Director, Martin Thurley said:

“We are delighted to be holding our first India summit in April, which is part of our Asia Pacific expansion program. Our new Indian members see the need for change and should be commended for taking the lead.

The STF has worked relentlessly to make measurable improvements in the tuna and shrimp industries, fostering a culture of compliance that goes beyond certification, and we look forward to sharing these learnings so they can be applied in Indian market.

The STF’s approach is to take realistic and achievable steps on the ground which create the conditions required for global companies buying shrimp and tuna products to trade with confidence”.

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