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Succesfull mediation in OECD Guidelines complaint against Cermaq

Aug 16, 2011
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In May 2009 ForUM and Friends of the Earth Norway filed a complaint against Cermaq ASA for multiple breaches of the Guidelines arising from the fish farming and fish feed operations of the company's subsidiary Mainstream. Following the successful conclusion of the mediation process and the joint statement by the complainants and the company the Norwegian NCP concluded the complaint in August 2011.

The Norwegian NCP accepted the case in June 2010 but did not manage to bring the parties together for mediation. A reorganised NCP, with a new independent panel of experts forming the main body, met met all parties again on 13 April 2011. The meeting was concluded with a renewed offer of good offices to all parties to mediate with the goal achieving a joint statement. Both Cermaq ASA and the complainants provided the NCP with additional requested documentation by 9 May, while mediation by the head of the Norwegian NCP took place between 20 and 29 June.

A joint statement was reached on 1 July and officially signed on 10 August 2011. In the joint statement, Cermaq admits to have taken insufficient account to the precautionary principle in meeting social and environmental challenges. The parent company also takes responsibility for its subsidiaries' activities abroad. Friends of the Earth Norway and ForUM recognize that Cermaq has learned from the fish crisis in Chile and has made positive changes in procedures to prevent fish disease in Chile and in Cermaqs global business. The parties have also agreed upon principles for responsible aquaculture, indigenous peoples rights, human rights, workers rights and sustainability reporting. In addition they have agreed that the complaint included claims about Cermaq and its business that have been refuted and that future cooperation and contacts shall be based on mutual trust and clarification of facts.

Following the successful conclusion of the mediation process and the joint statement by the parties, the Norwegian NCP concluded the complaint and made no futher examination of the allegations in the complaint. The parties have been invited to meet with the NCP again in April 2012, to give an update on the implementation of the joint statement.

 

For more information also see the OECD Watch case database

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Website: http://www.regjeringen.no/en/sub/styrer-rad-utvalg/ncp_norway/klagesaker/saker/cermaq_conclusion.html?id=652229

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