Crews on fishing vessels face higher potential risks due to physical isolation, lack of monitoring, and limited communication. Walmart aims to help mitigate risks of human trafficking and forced labor on fishing vessels for tuna processed in Thailand by collaborating with suppliers and industry stakeholders. Our initial focus is on tuna supplying Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S.
To better understand the complexity of the supply chain and potential risks, Responsible Sourcing associates studied the product and worker supply chain paths in the Marshall Islands in 2017. We have met with key industry stakeholders, including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), World Tuna Purse Seine Organization (WTPO), and the Taiwan Tuna Association. In addition, we have engaged with government organizations in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the Marshall Islands to discuss issues such as protections afforded to migrant workers, local policies, regional cooperation, recruitment and labor standards.
Responsible Sourcing participates in the Seafood Task Force (STF) Tuna Sub-Group. This year, STF approved a Supply Chain Code of Conduct and Vessel Auditable Standards. Walmart is a member of the Seafood Task Force (STF) and its elected Board of Directors.
Responsible Sourcing and Walmart’s merchant and sourcing teams have aligned on an integrated approach to addressing labor issues in tuna supply chains and meet regularly to discuss best practices, communicate risks and update strategy.