IKEA partners with The Mission to Seafarers to support seafarer welfare on Day of the Seafarer


The Mission to Seafarers (MtS), a leading international seafarer welfare charity, has entered into a three-year partnership with IKEA Supply AG.

Through this initiative, unveiled today on the IMO Day of the Seafarer, IKEA will work with the Mission to build knowledge and awareness of the integral role of seafarers within the IKEA supply chain, with the goal of enhancing the wellbeing of seafarers.

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 their 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.

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

Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, Global Sustainability Manager at IKEA Supply Chain Operations said: “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.”

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

The IMO Day of the Seafarer was first observed in 2010 following the publication of the revised set of international laws under the Maritime Labour Convention that should see all seafarers receive the same levels of training, general welfare, and safety standards. By celebrating this day, the Mission to Seafarers and IKEA also hope to raise public awareness about the vital role of seafarers and encourage all those who rely on international shipping within their supply chains to use their influence to ensure seafarers’ rights are protected, and their wellbeing prioritised.