The plant manager for Mars Petcare in Whanganui says the company is aware of changes needed to the Thai fishing industry and was working with a third party to make improvements in that country.


This morning Greenpeace protesters locked themselves to a truck to block access to the Mars Petcare factory in Bryce St Whanganui. The environmental organisation said Mars uses fish from Thailand's Thai Union which used "really aggressive" and "destructive" fishing practices and had been linked to "slavery scandals" on their fishing boats.


Derek Pickering said Mars Petcare had been talking to Greenpeace prior to today's actions and didn't understand the protest.


Mr Pickering said Mars Petcare "does not tolerate forced labour in any aspect of our supply chain and we are extremely concerned about allegations of abuses taking place in the Thai fishing industry.

Advertisement

"We believe that as a global business we have a responsibility to contribute to the change that the Thai fishing industry needs to make to become a reliable and sustainable supply chain. As such, it is vital that we engage with, rather than abandon the industry, to improve conditions and to stamp out any human rights abuses.


"We do not believe that targeting one supplier is driving the change needed in the region.


"We are in conversation with Greenpeace and they are aware of our plans and therefore don't understand their actions taken today."


Mr Pickering said the Mars Petcare and the "reputable third party organisation" would work together "to establish transparency and visibility across all the tiers of our supply chain within Thailand."


Those findings will be ready in July and the report would be made public.