IKEA collaborates with the Mission to Seafarers to support seafarer welfare

IKEA collaborates with the Mission to Seafarers to support seafarer welfare

The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) has entered into a three-year partnership with IKEA Supply AG to build knowledge and awareness of the integral role of seafarers within the IKEA supply chain.

According to MtS, the partnership aims to enhance the well-being of seafarers.

MtS is an international seafarer welfare charity, and the initiative was unveiled on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Day of the Seafarer.

The partnership will centre around a training programme for IKEA employees, called ‘All you need to know about Seafarers’. The inaugural session of this course took place in May 2024 and is designed to assist IKEA in its due diligence when procuring ocean shipping services, helping to ensure that the seafarers on board are properly protected and supported.

The partnership originated from discussions during the pandemic when the shore leave crisis was at its peak. Since then, IKEA has proactively prioritised seafarer welfare, setting a commendable standard for other cargo owners to follow, reported the MtS.

Ben Bailey, Director of Programme at The Mission to Seafarers, said: “We are thrilled to partner with IKEA in this ground breaking initiative to enhance the welfare of seafarers.

The training programme has been designed by the Mission for IKEA, and covers a wide range of topics, including the realities of life at sea, seafarers’ welfare needs, their family life, and the legal frameworks and regulations that protect and safeguard their rights in recruitment and employment.

IKEA participants will reportedly gain meaningful insights into the challenges faced by seafarers, which is important for an organisation that relies heavily on seafarers within its supply chain but does not have direct interactions with them.

“This collaboration reflects our shared commitment to ensuring that seafarers, who play a critical role in sustaining global trade, receive the recognition, support, and protection they deserve, and we applaud IKEA for taking this step. By helping to educate the IKEA team about the unique challenges faced by seafarers, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and drive meaningful change in the maritime industry.

“This partnership is a significant step towards fostering greater awareness for seafarers and sets a powerful example of corporate social responsibility while highlighting the importance of seafarer welfare in sustaining the global economy.”

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Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, Global Sustainability Manager at IKEA Supply Chain Operations, further added: “The wellbeing of seafarers is a priority to us in IKEA and they play an essential role in ensuring that our goods reach our customers. We are committed to improving working conditions and protecting their human rights at sea.

“Recently we introduced additional requirements on ocean shipping in the IKEA supplier code of conduct (IWAY) to put the spotlight on the wellbeing of seafarers. By collaborating with specialists who bring their deep knowledge of maritime welfare, we aim to positively impact seafarers’ everyday lives and contribute to a better industry standard.”

In March 2024, the IMO decided to provide a possible draft outline of an ‘IMO net-zero framework’ for reducing GHG emissions from international shipping.

More recently, the World Shipping Council (WSC) welcomed the recent adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee.

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