FishWise Triples Down on Social Responsibility and Business Expertise
At FishWise, our work centers on providing innovative guidance and resources to help seafood companies address critical issues in their supply chains, such as human and labor rights abuses. Last year, we released an updated version of the Roadmap for Improving Seafood Ethics (RISE), a free online platform for companies to access credible, industry-specific tools and learning resources to implement robust social responsibility programs. To build these resources, we rely on a team of well networked, in-house experts to ensure our guidance remains on the leading edge. This year, we have tripled down on our expertise with three exciting new FishWise hires. Here we ask our newest team members to share a bit about their backgrounds.
Amy McGann, Social Responsibility Project Director
I have spent my career working to advance internationally recognized labor rights. At the U.S. State Department, I met with workers, trade unions, and employers from around the world to learn about the challenges and opportunities for achieving decent work, and pressed governments to advance anti-trafficking in persons efforts and ensure labor rights are protected in law and practice. Through field and desk research, I contributed to the Trafficking in Persons Report and Human Rights Report, which are used by a wide range of stakeholders, including by some companies as part of their human rights due diligence process. And, as part of my work to advance responsible recruitment of migrant workers, I participated in negotiations at the International Labor Organization that led to the General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment and the rulemaking process through which the U.S. Government defined the term “recruitment fees.” Throughout this work, I have seen that when companies have the tools, they can grow their businesses while advancing human and labor rights in their supply chains. I’m excited to be at FishWise to help develop those tools.
Annas Shaker, Social Responsibility Project Director
I was the International Labour Organization (ILO) representative in Kuwait, where I worked with government entities, trade unions, and chambers of commerce on programs on labor migration, freedom of association, and ethical recruitment. Thematically, those programs’ main objective was to combat issues of forced labor, a widespread phenomenon in Kuwait. In my experience, the most successful projects were the ones in which workers and employers engaged in dialogue and trust building, exchanging ideas openly about operational efficiency and work conditions.
Issues of forced labor and human trafficking are complex by nature. To tackle them, we must facilitate an inclusive approach where employers and workers are brought together to discuss all challenges and opportunities, such as setting up a remediation policy or coming up with worker-informed risk assessment and/or auditing processes. By engaging in dialogue with workers, companies are investing in worker retention, enhancing workplace morale, and improving productivity while avoiding risks that will harm their company’s reputation and revenues. There is no single and simple way to incorporate worker engagement approaches in companies’ policies and practices. However, it is essential for any interested business to start with strengthening its own internal capacity on all issues of human and labor rights. Educational programs are an excellent way for companies to get to the root of social responsibility issues and create long term impact.
Kelley K. Bell, Senior Project Director, Social Responsibility & Business Engagement
Over my 14 years at Driscoll’s, my team and I laid out the vision for responsible social and environmental practices and integrated that commitment into daily operations. I worked with business leaders and suppliers around the globe to create and implement global social standards for labor and human rights while finding solutions for systemic issues within the supply chain. At Driscolls, I experienced every aspect of the process from audits and coaching, to internal policy and governance structures. This role involved partnering with advocacy NGOs, industry groups, and trade unions to find solutions for the nuances and challenges within supplier continuous improvement. Through collaboration with branding, we would then share incredible success stories to inspire industry and give our customers confidence in our brand. This work needs to happen in the context of a thriving business, and our team is here to help design those business solutions for the benefit of all.
FishWise evolved out of our business partnerships and our growing team is dedicated to help seafood companies navigate the ever changing seascape by building traceability and human rights due diligence processes into our shared work. We invite you to reach out for more information and to learn more about our business services. To learn more about our recent hires and the FishWise team, please visit our staff page.