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CPF Foods to end migrant abuse in Thai meat sector

Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

03-Aug-2016
Last updated on 03-Aug-2016 at 13:07 GMT2016-08-03T13:07:34Z

Cargill said migrant abuse in Thailand's poultry business is 'a very sad situation'
Cargill said migrant abuse in Thailand's poultry business is 'a very sad situation'

Poultry business CPF Foods has partnered with the Thai government to tackle mistreatment of staff in the poultry industry, following modern-day slavery claims at a separate chicken farm. 

The business announced it had joined forces with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, as well as the Department of Livestock Development, to improve working conditions in Thailand’s broiler industry.

Chief operating officer of CPF Foods, Virachai Ratanabanchuen, said the company was committed to raising labour standards to the “next level” by implementing Good Labour Practices (GLPs). These standards were established by the Thai government to stop child labour and modern-day slavery in its food processing industry.

‘Very sad’

CPF Foods’ announcement follows a report from this site that revealed claims of modern-day slavery in the Thai poultry industry. On the news of migrant abuse Johahn Bhurrut, a spokesman for Cargill’s Asian arm, said: “This is a very sad situation. We understand from the report that Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission has pledged an investigation into the case and the wider industry. We welcome the initiative and will do our utmost to help the agencies concerned.

CPF Foods’ commitment to adopt GLPs will ensure standards are applied across the supply chain, with employees guaranteed to be treated in the same way people working under globally-accepted practices are.

Such standards will give international clients assurances that meat supplied to them is produced in line with ethical standards, and as such their supply chain will remain untainted in the eyes of the world.

Bolster standards

This comes as an activist from Anti-Slavery International said companies risks “polluting their supply chain” by relying on Thai poultry exports if there is evidence of human rights abuses.

CPF Foods has developed extensive practices for its entire broiler work, running from the farm through to processing plants, to ensure standards are as high as they can be. It is also set to launch a scheme to get its contract farmers and growers to implement good labour practices to improve ethical standards across its supply chain.

The training first begins in Nakhon Ratchasima, with 40 broiler farm owners,” said Ratanabanchuen. “The training will soon be organised in provinces across the country. Trainees sign agreement in committing and abiding by GLP principles in managing labour relations.

CPF Foods said it will hire internal audit teams to monitor GLP performance to ensure its supply chain is adhering to good guidelines and is not discriminating staff.

[The] Thai broiler industry has been internationally recognised in terms of quality and integrity. Strong commitment to take up GLP among stakeholders will lead to sustainable development for the Thai broiler industry at large,” Ratanabanchuen added.

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