SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM
FCF CO., LTD. (FCF) is one of the world’s largest marine-integrated industry supply chain service providers, offering comprehensive services from vessel provisions to logistics and processing. Our network includes more than 250 associated fishing vessels, 30 subsidiaries and agents across all continents, and tuna processing plants in Papua New Guinea. Recently, FCF acquired Bumble Bee Foods (Bumble Bee), a 120-year old marketer of seafood and specialty protein products sold in the U.S., Canada, and throughout the world. The two companies have a long-standing partnership in raw material supply and processing, as well as, multiple sustainability projects collectively including Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs) for tuna longline fisheries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. FCF and Bumble Bee are active participants in the Seafood Task Force (STF) and the newly implemented FCF Social Responsibility Program.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM
FCF has been working with supply chain partners to progressively refine its Social Responsibility Program, established in 2017, through a series of best-in-class policies and procedures covering key areas of social risks within the tuna supply chain (e.g. crew recruitment, wages and benefits, and onboard health and safety) that are consistent with auditable standards agreed by the STF. FCF is committed to the prevention of any form of human rights violations in our manifold global supply chain. To that end, we introduced our Tuna Sustainability Policy in 2018. It is the foundation of FCF’s social auditing program and covers various components of the supply chain including vessel owners and operators, crew members, and, progressively, recruitment agencies. The goal of the policy is to improve environmental and social performance within the operations of our company and our suppliers, as well as meet all relevant international environmental, labor and ethical social standards. Moreover, FCF has created an audit program structure that is managed by the FCF’s internal audit team and verified by an independent third party. This sophisticated auditing process includes training and capacity building for vessel companies, office documentation reviews, on-site vessel monitoring and in-person crew interviews. By utilizing a state-of-the-art online auditing platform, e-Audit, FCF is able to integrate all program-related records, findings and action plans into the cloud. This allows for easy access to actual audit reports when internet access is available, and provides us with the capacity to promptly present program progress reports to clients. FCF is also working closely with a third party provider – MRAG Asia Pacific, to have the program independently audited. FCF aims to provide continuous updates in the quarterly releases of the Social Responsibility Program Update.
FINDINGS AND RESULTS
Implementation of the Social Responsibility Program to date has largely focused on three main sectors of the FCF supply chain: Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) purse seiners, WCPO longliners and, Indian Ocean (IO) longliners. From late 2018 until now, FCF has audited four out of five of the purse seine vessel owners and 10 out of 37 of the fishing vessels among its program-based purse seine tuna supply chain in the WCPO. Among the vessels audited by FCF, 71 out of 349 crew members of different nationalities, including Indonesian, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese and Taiwanese participated in interviews.
2019 Purse Seine Audit Coverage
From late 2018 until now, FCF has audited four out of five of the purse seine vessel owners and 10 out of 37 of the fishing vessels among its program-based purse seine tuna supply chain in the WCPO. Among the vessels audited by FCF, 71 out of 349 crew members of different nationalities, including Indonesian, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese and Taiwanese participated in interviews.
2019 Longline Audit Coverage
During the second half of 2019, FCF staff, along with independent observers, completed audits on all three of our longline vessel owners and eight out of 16 of the longline vessels- which are operating in the IO; and had committed to a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) facilitated by FCF and Bumble Bee. A total of 30 out 118 crew members were interviewed; the composition of these crew members was predominantly Indonesian, Filipino and Taiwanese. We are pleased to report, there is also ongoing progress toward the social audits of FCF’s supplying longline vessels, which are also participating in the Albacore FIP in the Western Pacific Ocean. FCF’s audit team completed an additional five long line vessel owner office audits and seven longline vessels audits with a third- party verifying observer present at all interviews. The outcomes of this initial round of audits has given the FCF Social Responsibility team an excellent insight into issues- of which suppliers are already improving, as well as, others- of which additional training, capacity building and strengthening of internal systems will be required. Some of these can be resolved fairly quickly, while others will take a concerted effort amongst all relevant stakeholders over time. FCF will continue to work with vessel owners on company specific action plans, as well as through the Seafood Task Force and other forums on some of the wider social issues. An overview of outcomes from the initial round of audits is provided in the following table:
FCF is currently significantly expanding our social audit program in 2020 with more than 170 supplying vessels and 3,300 crew members in the scope, primarily targeting the longline vessels supplying FCF in both Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Throughout the remainder of this year, FCF’s audit program will continue to increase the coverage of purse seine and longline vessel audits over previous years. We plan to include an additional 10 longline vessel owners that will encompass an additional 108 fishing vessels in the Pacific Ocean into our growing program. The Social Responsibility Program is an important part of FCF’s commitment to being the leading supplier of responsibly sourced tuna internationally, and is just one of many steps our company is taking to demonstrate our sustainability commitment. In addition to our social program, in 2020, FCF intends to expand our fiscal commitments for sustainability projects by over 50%, focusing mainly on the FCF Sustainability Program (FSP), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certifications, Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs), Social Responsibility Program, and our involvement with the Seafood Task Force along with other international NGOs.