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Fyffes granted reprieve from expulsion from Ethical Trading Initiative

Dublin-based tropical fruits company Fyffes has secured a reprieve from being expelled from an influential ethical body as the firm and its new Japanese owners entered talks with unions over a dispute with Honduras melon farm workers’ rights.

The UK government-sponsored Ethical Trading Initiative, which Fyffes has been a member of since 2002, suspended the Irish firm from its organisation in May for 90 days over the company’s “failure to meet its membership obligations”.

While Fyffes got a five-week extension until September 8th 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.

The ETI said in a statement posted on its website in Monday that a “process of dialogue was now under way” between Fyffes, its new owner, Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corporation, and the International Union of Foodworkers.

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

It will review the position at its next meeting in November. A spokesman for Fyffes said the company “welcomes the recognition by the ETI that we are making progress in our discussions and will continue to work toward reinstatement to full membership in due course”.

Publication date: 9/19/2017


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