Contributing to a weekend filled with culinary delights and philanthropic spirit, "Thailand’s Favourite Restaurants by Koktail" successfully hosted its much-anticipated and sold-out fundraising charity dinner evenings at Parc Paragon. The event, which took place from October 27th to 29th, culminated in a significant donation to the Labour Protection Network (LPN), helping in its battle against modern-day slavery at sea.
The event brought together a diverse array of top restaurants and renowned chefs, both from within the country and abroad. Each contributed their unique flavours and dishes, creating an unforgettable experience for guests. The event's true essence lay in the collective effort to support LPN in its battle to protect and uplift Thailand's migrant workers.
Each of the chefs contributed a hard-to-get table and many of the guests joined the bidding to snag one of the prizes. There were also bottles of 2006 vintage port from Quinta Da Colmaca on offer and a fabulous hamper of cold cuts from Jagota plus other prizes. Altogether the auction raised Baht 350,000 over the two evenings, which was presented to LPN co-founder Sompong Srakaew at the offices of Siam Paragon. Representatives from Siam Paragon, UOB, and Jagota, among our sponsoring partners, joined the occasion.
In presenting the cheque on behalf of the chefs and successful bidders Nigel Oakins, publisher of Thailand’s Favourite Restaurants by Koktail, said that Thailand’s continuing presence as a preferred destination in the culinary world throws the spotlight on the need to ensure all participants in the food chain process are treated fairly and humanely, and this starts with the young people who spend weeks and months at sea on fishing vessels.
“Thailand still has more to do to reach the standards needed” he said, “and this small contribution to LPN not only helps financially but also raises awareness that the rights of migrant workers at sea must be properly recognised.”
Lawrence Cordes, Area Manager of Jagota, emphasised the importance of enjoying fine food while supporting charitable causes, particularly those addressing seabound slavery issues in Thailand. He stressed that such support is integral to the hospitality industry. Discussing the importance of sourcing from the Thai supply industry, Cordes mentioned the impact of COVID-19, which led many to turn to local suppliers for seafood, promoting sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, he discussed Jagota's commitment to sourcing local seafood from regions like the deep south and the Andaman Sea for better quality and sustainability. He outlined Jagota's efforts to uplift the industry by supporting local fishermen and meeting customer demands.
“Our customers expect fresh, good quality, and fair-priced products that are ethically sourced,” he said.
Supasima Kun-amornpong, Vice President of Cards Payment at UOB, added
“UOB aims to be a leading force in ASEAN and enhance people's quality of life. Supporting events like this is a crucial step in championing fair labour practices and improving people's quality of life.”
Sompong Srakaew, Founder and Executive Director of the LPN Foundation, shed light on their current projects, focusing on supporting migrant children in both formal and non-formal education settings. Additionally, the project aims to expand the migrant labour network by providing educational support for adults and addressing general labour issues. Sompong highlighted concerns about changing government policies affecting worker protection and emphasised the need for sustained efforts and serious attention to prevent labour abuses in the seafood sector.
“If you consider the broader perspective of consumers, whether they're consuming domestic or processed fish, it's important to enlighten them about the origins of their fish, ensuring it's not linked to slave labour or human trafficking. Chefs, in particular, must be mindful of the fish's source, making informed decisions. When chefs are confident that the fish they use is free from human trafficking concerns, it reflects in their joy while preparing meals, knowing they contribute to an ethically sourced and slavery-free culinary experience,” he said.
“I'm excited to be part of this event and witness the chefs' enthusiasm and happiness. I believe everyone that attended the event shares in this joy.”
LPN, known for its commitment to ending slavery at sea and advocating for the rights of Thailand's migrant workers, expressed profound gratitude for the support. This donation represents not just a monetary contribution, but a symbol of hope and a reinforcement of their vital work.
The event's impact goes beyond the immediate financial aid, highlighting the issue of migrant workers' rights and the ongoing struggle against inhumane working conditions at sea. It serves as a reminder of the power of community initiatives in driving change and supporting organisations that fight for a just and equitable future.
As the Labour Protection Network continues its essential work, the support from "Thailand’s Favourite Restaurants by Koktail" and famous and talented chefs and the generous participants in the event serve as encouragement in the ongoing journey towards a world free of exploitation and injustice.
For more information on LPN and future events, please contact Sompong Srakaew, Founder and Executive Director of the LPN Foundation, at +66 85 534 1595, +66 96 095 7296, or firstname.lastname@example.org.