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Fyffes announces melon business transformation in Honduras

To demonstrate a more responsible, ethical, and environmentally positive melon business in Honduras, multinational fruit company Fyffes and its subsidiary Sol Group publish the initial results of its melon business transformation in this country, led by its new local management that prioritizes working conditions, community participation, and improvement, environmental management, as well as sound corporate governance.

The first step for the transformation was the appointment of a new general manager for Sol Group, Genivaldo Pereira, in October 2021. This was followed by the incorporation of a new operations manager in Honduras, Reginaldo de Lima, as well as new managers of compliance, human resources, sustainability, labour, and farm relations. With the support of Fyffes executive leadership, the new management team has made major changes and improvements to Fyffes melon operations in Honduras, including:

Working conditions

  • Risk assessments, analysis, and standardization of procedures and tasks to ensure the safety and fairness of workers, as well as performance.
  • Large-scale investment in the training and upgrading of workers in the new operating procedures.
  • Provision of correct personal protective equipment for all workers.
  • Elimination of the system of hiring seasonal workers through foremen and establishment of a new hiring protocol with the supervision of the human resources department.
  • Disposal of 12,000 tons of plastic, containers, and other agricultural waste accumulated on farms over the years, creating risks to health and safety, as well as to the environment.
  • In 2022, Suragroh (one of Sol Group’s companies in Honduras) carried out its first External Evaluation IndicaRSE with the Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (FUNDAHRSE).

Social security

  • Although Honduran labor law requires companies to pay social security for seasonal workers, in practice workers do not generally receive this benefit from the Department of Labor and Social Security. To mitigate this situation, local management agreed with the Base Unions to pay temporary workers a bonus of approximately 80% of the social security payment.
  • Five medical clinics are available on or near the company’s farms that have five full-time doctors, five ambulances, and four nurses hired during the peak season.
  • In 2022 the Community Medical Brigades were introduced to provide medical care to 1,000 people from 15 communities during the off-season.
  • The company also offers the opportunity for additional income to temporary workers through a corn-growing program during the off-season.

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