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Transparency and the Management of an Extended Supply Chain

June 05, 2019

We recently enjoyed grill shrimp at a friends house, and he had told us that he got the shrimp at Costco, and that is was sourced from Thailand.  As Nicha is from Thailand, I was curious as to Costco's supply chain for foreign seafood, specifically Thai shrimp.  

As I Googled "Costco and Thai Shrimp", I was surprised to see so many articles on the topic, specifically around the lawsuit against Costco related to the Thai Shrimp fishery.  In short, someone had sued Costco for not revealing the human rights abuses occurring in the Thai fishing industry.  The suit has recently been dismissed, and the Thai government is making changes to address the issue.  But according to the organization Human Rights Watch, the issue is far from being resolved. 

To Costco's and other retailer's credit, they are taking steps to improve the working conditions that are required for their suppliers across all countries.  They have established a seafood taskforce to help make the invisible visible - to shine the light on workers who are getting paid less than $400 per month but have been treated as slaves laboring on ships under extremely harsh conditions. 

 Being transparent about your end to end supply chain may not always paint a pretty picture as in the Costco case, but it can help lead to paths to improve the situation. 

JOOB will be striving for transparency from day one, and while we don't always have all of the information about our suppliers and how they are managing their people and processes, we'll be asking for this and pushing those that don't provide and will let our customers know exactly what we know so they can decide what they want to purchase.  

If you are interested in getting involved to help improve working conditions around the world, check out these organizations. 

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