CPF chief defends labour policy

The Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) chief has defended the company's policy of protecting labourers and improving Thailand's fishing industry.


President and CEO Adirek Sripratak said the firm had joined hands with the Thai Fishery Producers Coalition to put an end to illegal labour including child and enslaved workers.

The group comprises eight fishing associations, government agencies and international organisations such as the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation and International Labour Organisation.

Its goal is to build consumer confidence in line with Thai and international labour standards and laws, he added.

The CPF executive came out to clarify the firm's policy for the first time after The Guardian newspaper report accused the company of buying fishmeal which it feeds to its farmed prawns from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats said to be using slave labour.

Fishmeal is an ingredient in making fish feeds for its farmed prawns. 

CPF had already clarified the stance after the report was made public.

Mr Adirek said CPF had provided an incentive to fishmeal producers by paying premium prices for products certified of legal sources by the Fisheries Department.

 “We're well aware of this issue and have stepped up the policy by implementing various activities. CPF also strongly supports the industry's move to concentrate on responsibility and sustainability. At present, we don’t buy fishmeal without certified documents,” Mr Adirek said.

Last Thursday, the France-based Carrefour decided to stop purchasing shrimp products from CPF as a result of The Guardian report.

CPF is now clarifying the facts to the hypermarket chain for better understanding.

Trading with the French partner is expected to resume after the detailed explanations by CPF, Mr Adirek said.

Last year, CPF’s export value to Carrefour reached 130 million baht, accounting for 0.03% of its total sales.

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