The loan agreement between Frionor and NORAD has no reference to any environmental aspects of the project.
When Frionor applied for the loan, the application was submitted to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (NPCA) to have the environmental aspects of the project evaluated. Because of moving offices, NORAD has been unable to find the NPCA evaluation from its archive. However, according to acting head of department for Industrial Co-operation at NORAD, Jan Dag Andersen, the NPCA had no objections to the project.
- Probably the NPCA limited its comments to traditional environmental effects relating to the pisciculture industry, like discharge, waste disposal and the like, Andersen writes to NorWatch.
- However, the loan was granted to Frionor on the condition that the project is run in accordance with the Thai laws and regulations. If its use of raw material from prawn farms should prove to be in violation with such laws, resulting in the company's licence or approval being withdrawn, then NORAD would have reason to cancel the agreement with Frionor, Andersen writes.
However, the thing is that only the breeding of prawns in the interior is prohibited; there is no law against buying prawns from such interior farms, like Frionor is doing. In the NORAD agreement there is a clause obligating Frionor to live up to the ILO conventions number 79, 90 and 138, all regarding child labour. Apart from this, there is no mention of working conditions in the agreement, except for the demand that Thai law be followed.
Norwatch Newsletter 10/99