CGF Social Sustainability Director Didier Bergeret spoke at the 13th North Atlantic Seafood Forum, held in Bergen, Norway, which took place on March 6th – 8th. The conference welcomed 960 delegates from 35 countries, (all 5 continents), and around 300 companies. Didier took part in a panel discussion on sustainability in the seafood industry which was facilitated by Andrea Weber from member company Metro.
While many efforts tackling environmental sustainability are taking place in the industry, Didier said, that “the social agenda is somehow less promoted and less talked about”. The seafood sector, he said, has been identified as one of the sectors with the “most endemic and worst working conditions” and current sustainability standards do not currently include adequate social criteria.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), it is estimated that 40 million people are currently victims of modern slavery, and 11 percent of these are directly linked to the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
In 2016, the CGF launched its Board-approved Social Resolution on Forced Labour, the first industry commitment of its kind. The aim of the Resolution is to eradicate modern slavery from supply chains once and for all. Didier advocated for CGF’s Priority Industry Principles to be embraced by the sector’s representatives in Bergen. The three Principles state that “every worker should have freedom of movement”, “no worker should pay for a job” and “no worker should be indebted or coerced to work” and prove to be a very efficient way to address the large majority of forced labour cases identified. We hope that the seafood sector will join the CGF’s members in this effort by upholding and implementing the Priority Industry Principles against forced labour – a move which will have an enormous and positive impact on the seafood industry.