Since 2015, Walmart has focused on combating human trafficking, unsafe working conditions and underage labor in shrimp supply chains in Thailand. Because of the issues’ complexity and scale, we collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders. Responsible Sourcing associates have joined seafood merchants and sourcing associates on buying trips and facility visits to India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. These trips help Walmart better understand various potential risks across the seafood supply chain.
One of the ways we are working to find root cause solutions is through collaboration with the Seafood Task Force (STF). Walmart is a member of the Seafood Task Force (STF) and its elected Board of Directors. STF is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative established by seafood processors, feed producers, merchants, retailers, suppliers and NGOs, to address risks of forced labor and illegal fishing in the Thai seafood supply chain. STF is working with government and industry stakeholders to enhance regulation and codes of conduct to improve labor conditions in seafood supply chains. In FY19, Responsible Sourcing participated in multiple STF subgroups and helped develop farm-level training to build capacity of shrimp farmers in Thailand.
Promoting worker voice is an important tool to combat potential risks in the supply chain. In 2016, Walmart joined the Issara Institute, which operates a multilingual migrant worker hotline and oversees remediation of identified issues in facilities. The Issara Institute has also created a smartphone app called Golden Dreams, which was specifically designed for migrant Burmese workers in Thailand to share information about worker rights, opinions about various employers and recruiters, and report concerns through Issara’s helpline.
We believe that empowering suppliers through training and resources can help make lasting change in the supply chain. For example, we have provided suppliers access to training on seafood supply chain management systems and risk mitigation. Responsible Sourcing associates have also hosted in-person supplier training, including a Thai Shrimp Supplier Orientation in Bangkok, which included interactive sessions for suppliers to share best practices in worker voice and responsible recruitment.