Trident Investigates Reports of Human Rights Abuses by Chinese Supplier

Trident Investigates Reports of Human Rights Abuses by Chinese Supplier
Image: Trident Seafoods

Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant says his company has suspended trade with a supplier in China after reports of human rights abuses there and has initiated its own independent inquiry regarding issues reported by an independent investigator.

While its investigation is ongoing, Trident is cooperating with the Outlaw Ocean Project (OOP), based in Washington D.C., which advocates for a transparent and healthy seafood supply chain, Bundrant wrote in a statement posted on Trident’s website.

Trident Seafoods, Canada’s High Liner Foods and Houston-based Sysco are among several U.S. seafood firms that have suspended ties with Chinese processors identified in the latest OOP report documenting their use of North Korean labor, in violation of United Nations sanctions and U.S. law, the online publication Seafood Source reported Feb. 27.

Use of laborers from North Korea was prohibited in 2017 by the U.N. Security Council in response to North Korea testing nuclear and ballistic weapons. Meanwhile, the U.S. passed legislation categorizing use of North Korean labor as forced labor unless proven otherwise, Seafood Source said.

Oregon-based Pacific Seafood and Young’s Seafood of the United Kingdom also have begun investigations into allegations of North Korean labor in their supply chains, according to Seafood Source.

Bundrant said that after the OOP advised his company that there were North Korean workers at a supplier in the Liaoning province of China, that Trident promptly suspended its contract with that company.

He also said that he’s proud of Trident’s in-house Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program and intends to provide  work that improve the lives of Chinese workers and their families.

“Companies and consumers cannot continue to deny or turn a blind eye to the true cost of cheap seafood,” he said. “It is unconscionable. At Trident that’s not who we are, and as a leader in the seafood industry for more than 50 years, it’s not who we ever want to be.”


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