of fish and seafood traceable (by-products transparent to country or fishery of origin) in 2019
Fish and seafood
Fish and seafood are critical resources for our planet and all who live on it. We work hard to ensure our fish and seafood come from responsible sources, as well as bringing innovative solutions to tackle challenges the sector is facing, such as labor conditions.
Our fish and seafood supply chain
Identifying the precise sources for fish and seafood, which we use primarily in pet food, can be challenging. Pet food, for example, primarily uses fish by-products – the parts of a fish that remain after the fillets have been removed for human consumption. This makes traceability even more difficult, as the typical traceability mechanisms used for whole fish are not enough.
Our fish and seafood originate from a wide variety of sources. These include wild fisheries in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean and Black seas and aquaculture farms in Austria, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US.
All of Nestlé Purina’s pet food products follow complete and balanced recipes that meet the nutritional needs of dogs and cats at each life stage and for many health conditions. In addition to being nutritionally beneficial, the use of fish by-products represents an environmentally and socially responsible practice as it uses all the protein sources of a fish while not competing with the human food supply.
Our approach to sourcing fish and seafood sustainably
We understand the importance of sourcing from fisheries and aquaculture farms with healthy fish and responsible labor practices. Our fish and seafood responsible sourcing work begins by working closely with our suppliers to identify the sources of our fish and seafood raw materials.
Working with our suppliers, we are moving toward a future where we can verify that the fish and seafood we source come from fisheries and farms that meet our Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2.4Mb) requirements or are progressing toward them through engagement in improvement projects. To best identify the origins of fish by-products, which make up the majority of what we use, and whole fish, our buyers work closely with their suppliers to collect relevant data. This includes information on the species, country of origin and fishery from where the fish originated, along with fishing practices. We provide all this seafood purchasing information to our independent, not-for-profit partner the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to assess the risk at the origin of our seafood supply (pdf, 0.3Mb).
To hold our suppliers and ourselves accountable as well as driving industry-wide transparency, we have published the list of our seafood fishing zones in our supply chain and countries of origin (pdf, 0.3Mb).
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a key environmental challenge facing all of us. Nestlé reviews all the species caught to avoid seafood from IUU fishing practices or critically endangered or endangered species of fish (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List or listed under CITES Appendix I). We also aim to ensure that none of our seafood purchases are caught with highly destructive fishing gear or methods and that they do not come from ‘no-take zones’ or Marine Protected Areas or from vessels practicing transshipment at sea. We then work with our suppliers on sourcing from origins employing responsible fishing practices in line with our standards.
To support transformation at an industry level, in 2019 we became a Target 75 Champion with the SFP. Under Target 75, SFP is focused on ensuring 75% of world production in key sectors is, at a minimum, either sustainable (i.e. certified by the MSC program or green-listed in SFP’s Metrics tool) or making regular, verifiable improvements.
Forced labor and poor labor conditions have been identified as key challenges within the fish and seafood supply chain, representing a particular risk for Nestlé in Thailand. We work with two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – Verité, which specializes in tackling labor abuses in supply chains, and the Issara Institute, which provides workers with grievance mechanisms – to develop innovative solutions to address these challenges.
To further improve conditions in our supply chain, we have banned transshipment at sea (transferring goods from one vessel to another while in transit), a significant risk factor for labor abuses. We are now working with our suppliers, who have committed to delivering on this.
Tackling labor rights abuses in the seafood industry
The abuse of labor rights in the Thai seafood industry is a serious challenge. Issues such as trafficking, forced labor, lack of grievance procedures, workplace conditions, and poor wages and benefits need to be addressed urgently. Working with our partners and also the Royal Thai Government, industry association the Seafood Taskforce and our suppliers, we have been taking action to address these challenges in our supply chain.
In 2015, Verité collected information from fishing vessels, ports, mills and farms in Thailand to better understand the issues facing the sector. Following its assessment, we developed and launched an action plan (pdf, 0.6Mb).
Among the actions implemented were:
- Developing a business case for safe living and working conditions on vessels.
- Deployment of Issara Institute’s worker voice and remediation tools throughout our supply chains.
- Requiring responsible recruitment of workers into Thai seafood processing facilities in our supply chain and supporting several initiatives to extend this practice further upstream.
In 2019, we initiated two new partnerships to address labor rights in our Thai seafood supply chain. Along with the J.M. Smucker Company, Mars Petcare and our supplier Thai Union, we signed a memorandum of understanding to collaboratively fund projects in 2020 to improve the working conditions of fishermen on vessels. We also initiated a partnership with The Fair Hiring Initiative, Inc. (TFHI) to conduct capacity-building for ethical and fair recruitment for agencies and employers enrolled in TFHI’s ‘On The Level’ certification program pilot. The aim of this partnership is to support an increase in the pool of responsible recruitment agents and therefore responsibly recruited workers in the industry.
UpdateDownload the latest update on our responsible sourcing activities for seafood in Thailand:
- Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2Mb)
- Corporate Business Principles (pdf, 1Mb)
- Rural Development Framework?(pdf, 2Mb)
- Commitment on Child Labour in Agricultural Supply Chains (pdf, 200Kb)
- Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare (pdf, 1Mb)
- Nestlé Farm Animal Welfare Q&A (pdf, 375Kb)
- Natural Capital: Water in Agriculture (pdf, 6Mb)
- Natural Capital: Biodiversity (pdf, 4Mb)