10 March 2020
London, UK / Ivybridge, Devon, UK. Today, sees the public release of the inaugural South Western Fish Producer Organisation (SWFPO) Ltd Business and Human Rights Audit dated 10 January 2019 through the Human Rights at Sea independent platform.
Commenced in late 2018 and submitted in January 2019, the comprehensive report was commissioned by SWFPO as part of their internal drive to develop levels of business awareness and standards relating to human rights provisions and protections within their fisheries supply chain.
Initially, an internal confidential document, the report triggered internal reviews and development of core supporting policies relating to the 18 recommendations cited.
At the SWFPO AGM in July 2019, members agreed the following added new Rules of Membership.
“4.(x) Every member shall be required to observe the terms of the Organisation’s:
a) Corporate Social Responsibility Policy;
b) Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Policy;
c) Human Rights Policy; and the
d) Transparency in Supply Chains Statement in line with UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and in the spirit of the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”
Jim Portus, Executive Manager on behalf of the SWFPO Board, commented: “South Western Fish Producer Organisation Ltd instructed Human Rights at Sea International (HRASi) Ltd to conduct a comprehensive business and human rights review and audit of the organisation in late 2018 as the first of its kind. The final report was received in January 2019, with the findings accepted in their entirety by the Board.”
“The in-depth nature of the report and specifically the 18 recommendations have been key to assisting our organisation to develop better internal policies for the issues highlighted, and it has increased our awareness for the need for increased attention to be paid to the business and human rights aspects of our day-to-day business within the wider UK fishing industry supply chain. We are therefore encouraged that we are advancing in the right direction and in agreement with HRASi, the Board has agreed to publish this internal report as a matter of transparency under the 2011 UN Guiding Principles ‘Know and Show’ principle.”
CEO, David Hammond, said: “Over the past four years, Human Rights at Sea has continually supported the UK Fishing Industry in collectively developing human rights and associated social welfare policies to increase standards as set against international norms. We are delighted that the Board has agreed to have their internal report published, thereby supporting their regional leadership on the issues raised and backed by full transparency of their resultant actions.”
Download the released South Western Fish Producer Organisation (SWFPO) 2019 Business and Human Rights audit by Human Rights at Sea International (HRASi) Ltd. www.hrasi.org