Danish feed manufacturer BioMar published a joint statement along with 12 other international Nordic firms pushing for European due diligence legislation on human rights.
“Today, there is no common European set of rules that holds companies liable for harm done to human rights and the environment in their supply chains,” EU lawmaker Lara Wolters, who drafted the report, told Reuters.
Dairy giant Arla, toy manufacturer the Lego group, engineering firm Danfoss, Vestas Wind Systems and IKEA are among the 12 companies from the Nordic Business Network for human rights (NBNHR) calling on the European Commission to propose a cross-border regulation improving human rights across global value chains.
The European Commission is expected to propose a sustainable corporate governance legislation in the second quarter. The European Parliament's legal committee suggested an EU law obliging companies to monitor, identify and prevent human rights risks across operations.
If risks are identified, companies must disclose the issue with solutions to it, despite whether it happened within the European Union or not.
As a top international seafood company, seafood producer and processor Thai Union was one of the first groups to step up when issues related to forced labor and illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing along the Thai supply chain were raised by investigative journalism reports, and later by authorities in key markets.
Darian McBain, global director, corporate affairs and sustainability with Thai Union, told IntraFish in 2019 that big companies have the responsibility to lead due to their relevance and presence as an international player, but that it is important that good governance is applied throughout the supply chain.
Following a The Guardian investigation in 2014 into the Thai seafood supply chain and the Associated Press Pulitzer-awarded investigation “Seafood from Slaves,” international forces such as the United States and the European Commission took matters into their own hands, imposing different warnings on Thai operators.