Thai Union sustainability chief Darian McBain moves on after 6 years

McBain has driven the transformation of a company that had been under attack by NGOs for destructive and abusive fishing practices.

Darian McBain cropped
During Darian McBain's tensure, she introduced policies to improve the treatment of migrant workers and signed a landmark agreement with Greenpeace to improve worker rights and tackle indiscriminate fishing methods. Image: Thai Union

The global head of public affairs and sustainability for Thai Union, Darian McBain, is to step down after six years in the role.

McBain joined Thai Union from Sydney-based business consultancy Blue Sky Green in 2015. At that time the company, which is the world’s largest seafood processor, was under attack from environmental campaign groups for slave labour in its supply chain and illegal fishing practices.

During McBain’s tensure, she introduced policies to improve the treatment of migrant workers and signed a landmark agreement with Greenpeace to improve worker rights and tackle indiscriminate fishing methods. The agreement was key to driving sustainable change in the company’s operations and the wider seafood industry.

McBain commented on LinkedIn on Wednesday: “As one of the first seafood companies to hire a chief sustainability officer reporting to the CEO, my role has taken me from European yellow cards [Thailand was reprimanded by the EU in 2015 for unregulated and unreported fishing] to US Trafficking In Persons reports, from global campaigns by NGOs against, to awesome collaborations with NGOs for, from fish improvement projects to alternative proteins, it has been anything but dull,” she wrote.

Her next move was unclear at the time of publishing. She is to stay on with the company until a successor is found.

Over her career, McBain, who has a PhD in supply chain analysis, has been a sustainability palm oil manager for conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Australia and a sustainable development executive for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service’s purchasing and supply agency.

The Australian has won numerous awards, including Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year and Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Leader of the Year.

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