Honduras: $21 million in losses due to decertification of banana plantations

Decertification of fourteen independent banana producers will entail losses of about $21 million to the country provided that the borders are closed to the export of fruit from three farms affected, according to representatives of the agricultural sector.

"The country would stop selling about $21 million in exports, plus 4,000 families that benefit directly from them, and the effect is ipso facto, because the moment that they take our certification there is a contract that limits us from getting out to the international market if we do not benefit from it," said Hector Castro president of the National Association of Banana Producers.

At the end of last week it was learned that a United States commission had decertified fourteen independent producers for alleged labour rights violations. Allegedly discriminating against one of the two unions that exist in the company. At the time, Iris Munguía, a Federation of Trade Unions of Agribusiness (Festagro) directive, explained that the decertification conclusion was issued by the investigative audit of the certification committee for exporting products to the U.S. market the Rainforest Alliance.

José Obregón, legal representative of the Ana María S.A., Bárbara S.A., and María, S.A. explained that the legal problem was caused by the existence of two unions within the company, whereupon the estates decided to negotiate with the group having a greater affiliation, which was interpreted by the certifying panel as discrimination against the smaller cluster.

Among the arguments presented by the producers to clarify that no such violation exists, is that "in the Honduran Labour Code and laws it said that there can only be one union and a collective agreement," said Obregón.

Source: Laprensa.hn

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