Thai Union’s initiative to decarbonize Thai shrimp supply chain

The program's primary focus is making on-farm investments to enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce energy usage and increase sourcing of sustainable feed ingredients.

March 18, 2024

Thai Union Group has launched an innovative program to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the shrimp supply chain. The Shrimp Decarbonization initiative, which was developed in collaboration with global environmental organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Ahold Delhaize USA, marks a significant step towards more sustainable aquaculture practices.

The pilot program has a target of producing 1,000 metric tons of processed shrimp that is both lower impact and meets the highest product quality standards. The shrimp will be imported by Thai Union subsidiary, Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, and fully traceable from the hatchery to the final point of shipment. This initiative demonstrates Thai Union's commitment to environmental stewardship and its ambition to lead the seafood industry toward a more sustainable future by driving towards its SBTi-approved 42% reduction in GHG emissions within its own operations and supply chain.

"Working alongside The Nature Conservancy allows us to pioneer a model of shrimp production that is not only more environmentally responsible but also economically viable. Our pilot program for 2024 is a testament to our dedication to reducing carbon emissions and setting new sustainability benchmarks in the seafood industry," said Adam Brennan, chief sustainability officer at Thai Union. "The Shrimp Decarbonization program is not just about reducing emissions; it's about transforming the shrimp industry into a more sustainable, efficient, and equitable sector. By proving that sustainable practices can lead to economic benefits, we aim to inspire and lead the way for the entire industry."

The program's primary focus is making on-farm investments to enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce energy usage and increase sourcing of sustainable feed ingredients. Together, feed and farm optimization are identified as the key drivers for achieving productivity gains and emissions reductions.

Following the pilot's success, Thai Union plans to scale these efforts across other shrimp farms in Thailand and beyond. This expansion will introduce sustainable interventions to support the farms' transition to more sustainable practices.

Ahold Delhaize USA, parent company of one of the largest grocery retail groups in the United States, is supporting the program. Two of its brands – Food Lion and Hannaford – have agreed to purchase shrimp from the program.

“Ahold Delhaize USA and each of our local brands is deeply committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing across the supply chain, and we take seriously our role in partnering with suppliers and other stakeholders to create innovative solutions to address climate change,” said Marc Stolzman, chief sustainability officer for Ahold Delhaize USA. “The Shrimp Decarbonization initiative represents a big step forward in sustainable aquaculture. We are proud to partner on this project, which we believe has significant potential for the retail sector and further advances our work to enable healthier people and a healthier planet.”

The intervention packages, which are tailored for different farm types and can include the installation of photovoltaic panels at the farms, will be implemented in two phases. These sustainability interventions are projected to reduce GHG emissions, showcasing the program's potential to make a substantial environmental impact.