Fyffes Secures A Reprieve From Expulsion From Ethical Trading Body

By Donna Ahern
Fyffes Secures A Reprieve From Expulsion From Ethical Trading Body

Fyffes has secured a reprieve from being expelled from an influential ethical trading body as the firm with unions on a dispute over Honduras melon farm workers' rights.

The UK based Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), suspended the tropical fruit imported from its organisation earlier this year for 90 days over the company’s 'failure to meet its membership obligations', reports Irishtimes.ie

Fyffes has reportedly been a member of since 2002 and the suspension was in placed in effect following an ETI board meeting, which took place on 4 May.

The ETI received a complaint about Fyffes in April 2016, regarding human-rights abuses in a Honduran melon plantation. The complaint was from the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and Banana Link, an NGO, both of which are members of the ETI.

While Fyffes got a five-week extension until 8 September to resolve the stand-off, and faced outright expulsion at an Ethical Trading Initiative board meeting last week, the organisation has decided to give the new talks a chance.


In a statement posted on the boards website on Monday, 18 September, it said, “While the board recognised this as a constructive step forward, they also considered it too early to say whether the move will address ETI’s concerns about conditions for workers in Honduras”

“The board therefore decided to maintain Fyffes’ suspension for the time being.”

It will review the position at its next meeting in November.

Sumitomo Corporation Takeover

Fyffees was offically acquired by Japanese leading trading company Sumitomo Corporations in a deal that was worth an estimated €751 million, earlier this year.


The move has courted some controversy, as Members of Britain’s General Union (GMB), the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) and Banana Link staged a protest at a Fyffes meeting regarding the deal at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4 at the end of January.

Fyffes is the number one importer of bananas and the leading marketer of organic & Fairtrade bananas to Europe. The fruit distributor is also amongst the largest global marketer for Supersweet pineapples and winter season melons. It has recently branched into the mushroom market.

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

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