Tell Fair Trade USA to Respect Farmworkers’ Rights, Decertify Fyffes’ Melon Plantation
When you pick up a fair trade melon, or any fair trade product, you expect that it means the farmers or farmworkers who grew it were treated fairly. Unfortunately, that’s not currently the case. This spring, Fair Trade USA decided to certify multinational Fyffes’s Honduran melon plantation Suragroh despite ongoing human and labor rights violations.
Tell Fair Trade USA that you expect fair trade to mean a fair deal for farmworkers. Serious human and labor rights violations mean it’s time to suspend Suragroh’s certification NOW.
Who: Fyffes is one of the largest multinational fruit companies in the world and the #1 supplier of winter-season melons to U.S. supermarkets, sold under the “SOL” label. They employ 8,000 workers on their Honduran melon plantations.
What: Fair Trade USA certified Fyffes’ Honduran melon subsidiary (Suragroh) in April 2018, despite serious human and labor rights violations. These violations have been documented going back almost a decade.
Violations include failure to pay minimum wages, exposure to hazardous agrochemicals, illegal firings of pregnant workers, blacklisting, harassment and illegal dismissal of union members. Workers report the company fails to provide them with benefits required by Honduran law, including denial of healthcare, social security, maternity leave, education vouchers, overtime pay, sick leave and vacation.
Demand: We are urging Fair Trade USA to suspend Suragroh from the FTUSA certification due to the ongoing violations. Our ally, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has been leading an international campaign to support Fyffes workers in Honduras who toil under abusive conditions, poverty wages and violent union repression. The letter demands an end to union discrimination, recognition of the workers’ union and for the company to engage in collective bargaining, as required by national and international labor law.