CSR Asia launches new report on the shrimp value chain

For developing countries in Asia, the very lucrative shrimp industry plays an important role in economic development by creating millions of jobs and income generating opportunities.

However, shrimp production has also been associated with severe environmental degradation, excessive use of antibiotics and chemicals, low wages, and, more recently, scandals around modern day slavery and human trafficking.

To address these problems and to highlight possible solutions CSR Asia launches a new report on the shrimp industry in Asia which looks at responsible and inclusive business opportunities for the whole value chain.

“The challenges in the industry are well documented. But what makes this report unique is that we begin to outline the changes that are required to make the industry more sustainable and protect the human rights of workers.” says Richard Welford, the chairman of CSR Asia.

The report looks in-depth at three of the world’s main producing countries, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. It focuses on small scale fishers, farmers and processors and identifies possible entry points and interventions for inclusive business opportunities.

It is based on a range of different research studies as well as in-depth interviews conducted with fishers, farmers and processors.

The report discussses ten key challenges facing the industry:

  1. Overfishing
  2. Fishing practices
  3. Mangrove destruction
  4. Pollution
  5. Ecosystem disruption from non-native species
  6. Disease
  7. Consumer health and safety
  8. Human rights abuses
  9. Child labour, and
  10. Land grabs

The report also stresses that the time to work on solutions is now and presents a number of opportunities for developing more inclusive business models in the industry.

It highlights responsible and inclusive business interventions that can increase opportunities for those people involved in fishing for or farming shrimp, who are often poorly compensated for their work. It also looks at how retailers and distributors can make their supply chains more productive, safe and secure, whilst at the same time increasing incomes for poor communities.

“The price of shrimp has never been so cheap in real terms” says Richard Welford. “The price squeeze being exerted on the value chain by large retailers has cut margins such that producers are forced to use cheap labour that involves illegal migrant worers, refugees and children”.

The paper, written by CSR Asia is part of a partnership with Oxfam on inclusive business value chains. CSR Asia is a leading provider of advisory, research and training services on sustainable business practices in Asia. For more information visit: www.csr-asia.com. For media inquiries email: marketing@csr-asia.com

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