Wal-Mart: Forced labour in food supply chain

In June 2014, a Walmart supplier, CP Foods, was linked to forced labour in the Thai fishing industry. CP Foods, the worlds largest prawn supplier, was investigated and linked to conditions of slavery, human trafficking and inhumane conditions on Thai fishing boats or ‘ghost ships’1. Prior to this, in 2012, at another Walmart supplier, Phatthana Seafood Co (PTT), workers went on strike to protest working conditions, human trafficking, low wages, cramped living environment amongst other concerns. The fact that this occurred in 2012, followed by a very similar case in 2014 shows a clear lack of policy implementation, transparency and ethical conduct on the part of the discount retailer23.

  1. Hodal, K. and Kelly, C. (2014): Revealed Asian Slave labour producing prawn for UK and US supermarkets; The Guardian, 10 June (accessed 20.10.2014) []
  2. Sifton, J (2012): Walmart’s Human Trafficking Problem; World Policy Blog, 17 September (accessed 20.10.2014) []
  3. Making change at Walmart (2012): Wal-Mart’s labor problem: Limits to the low-road business model (accessed 27.09.2014) []