Since 2009, the United Nations (UN) has observed the World Day of Social Justice annually on the 20th of February. This year, the UN chose to focus on closing the inequalities gap worldwide: “We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove the barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”
From fishers to farmers to processors, inequality impacts the employees that compose the backbone of the global seafood industry. When we increase equality, we increase an individual’s economic potential, industry growth, innovation and success. Human rights and sustainable development are intrinsically linked. Healthy oceans foster healthy communities and secure livelihoods. It’s important to think about environmental and social responsibility in tandem when making seafood purchasing decisions.
That’s why Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) takes a holistic approach to seafood production by covering the four pillars of responsible aquaculture production – food safety, environmental sustainability, social accountability and animal welfare. Our approach promotes farms and processing systems that care about the impact of their product, not only the environment in which it’s raised, but also the people that contributed to its success.
BAP certification standards actively promote equality in the workplace. Almost every BAP requirement is related to equality and non-discrimination. Requirements specific to wages and benefits for all, individuals including migrant workers, subcontractors and women, help protect the most vulnerable populations. Ensuring working and overtime hours are consistent with international best practices not only provides fair and just compensation but helps create a safe working environment. And by mandating non-discrimination in terms of hiring, compensation and training, our standards strive to close the inequalities gap.
We hope you will join us this World Day of Social Justice by looking for the BAP label when buying seafood to know that it was produced in an ethical and responsible way.
Avery Siciliano, Corporate Responsibility Manger
Learn more about how BAP standards address social accountability: