As you'll know from this blog, a major project for me this year has been researching different sectors of the retail fish industry, looking for brands that have taken significant steps to remove slavery from their supply chains. In the process I've come across some pretty hideous stories of literal rape and murder, both of which seem scarily common. I've learned that fish is the food purchased in rich countries that is at highest risk of having been produced by slave labour. I've also come across some amazing companies who are really going the extra mile: working very hard to eliminate slavery from their supply chains, despite this being an issue with very little public awareness to date. I have been especially impressed by the work of Sealord in this regard.
To pass on what I've learned, I've produced printable buying guides for both slave free fish for people (covering the sectors I've looked at so far) and slave free fish for pets (fish is found in a remarkably high proportion of pet food but can be invisible as it often isn't mentioned in the product name). These are part of a very exciting project that has consumed a lot of our time in recent weeks: Just Kai.
Tearfund is hosting The Justice Conference in Auckland in two weeks time. As 'Just Kai' Martin, along with our friends Anna and Sarah, will have a table there. They will be advising people on how to buy fish, cocoa and sugar (the three foodstuffs most likely to have slave labour in their supply chains) without supporting slavery. You can download a pdf summary of that advice here or check out the Just Kai website for more detail. For cocoa and sugar they will be telling people to look for various trusted certifications; for fish the situation is more complicated as there are no human welfare certifications used on fish in New Zealand - for that, people will have to rely on my research.
So is your kai just? Or is it just kai? Check out the website to see!
And if you expect to be in Auckland with no particular plans in two weeks time, why don't you consider signing up for the Justice Conference? There's a wide range of speakers addressing a great many social justice issues, collectively bringing the challenge for us to join God in His work of making all things new!
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