Labour policy review

The MSC condemns forced and child labour and is committed to reducing the risk of violations occurring in MSC certified fisheries or supply chains.

The MSC shares the increasing concerns surrounding labour abuses in the seafood industry and has a Social Policy team dedicated to addressing this.

Following the implementation of distinct labour policies in recent years, the MSC is reviewing its policy on labour. This will include simplifying how we present our labour requirements for fishery and supply chain partners.

The Labour Policy Review will develop eligibility requirements for businesses who want to become MSC certified. These could include needing to have grievance mechanisms and agreeing to undergo randomised audits. The review will also set out a roadmap for MSC’s longer term labour and wider social policy.

In 2022 we will release a new MSC Labour Policies and Procedures document, to bring together current requirements from the Fisheries and Chain of Custody Standards, as well as relevant derogations. As part of this we propose to extend our current Chain of Custody labour requirements to all countries, removing the exemptions for low-risk countries.

We will consult and engage stakeholders on all our work, full details of which are set out in the Labour Policy Review Terms of Reference below.

Third party audits and self-assessments for MSC Chain of Custody certificate holders

To mitigate the risk of egregious labour practices, the MSC currently requires Chain of Custody certificate holders with packing, processing and manual off-loading to either undertake a third-party audit, or complete a self-assessment and allow MSC to commission an audit. Currently, however, businesses in countries scored as low risk using the MSC’s scoring risk tool are exempt from this requirement.

We believe that making this a requirement for all certificate holders that pack and process certified seafood will increase confidence that egregious labour practices do not occur in MSC supply chains. We are proposing that the first version of the MSC Labour Policies and Procedures will include an extension of the requirement to undertake a third-party labour audit or submit a self-assessment to all certificate holders, in all countries.

 

Stakeholder consultation

Stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the proposal for third-party audits and self-assessments for Chain of Custody certificate holders via our online survey.

All feedback received through the survey has been compiled in the summary report below. The report contains background information on the topics consulted on, participation data and anonymised feedback tables.

Feedback from the public review has been analysed and incorporated into our proposals where appropriate. This will help us to ensure these eligibility requirements are clear and deliver the intent of our program.

More about our work

Developing our Standards

Developing our Standards

Every few years we review the MSC Standards so they remain relevant. Industry practices and scientific understanding evolve over time, so our Standards need to evolve too.

Find out more
Forced and child labour

Forced and child labour

The MSC condemns forced and child labour and supports global efforts to eradicate it in fisheries and seafood supply chains.

Find out more
At-sea monitoring and surveillance

At-sea monitoring and surveillance

The collection of high-quality data on fishing activities, recorded at sea, is a key part of effective fisheries management.

Find out more
  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}