News archive

Costa Rica sets new record in banana exports 10.03.2017
The value of banana exports also reaches an all-time high of $986 million. Productivity rises from 2,339 to 2,800 boxes per hectare per year. BY MARVIN BARQUERO S. mbarquero@nacion.com Banana growing is centred on the cantons of Sarapiquí, Pococí Siquirres, Guácimo, Matina, Limón and Talamanca on the Carribean coast, and in Parrita, Corredores and Palmar Sur on the Pacific coast. It provides direct employment for an estimated 43,000 workers.  JORGE CASTILLO/ARCHIVO Banana exports in Costa Rica reached record levels last year in terms of both volume and value, aided by the weather and a number...
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Record banana exports: The role of the worker 10.03.2017
Albino Vargas opinion@laprensalibre.cr   986 million dollars! Yes, that's right! Dollars! Converting it into colones, using the current exchange rate of around 566 colones to the dollar, gives us the gigantic sum of 558.076 billion colones! Or, expressed in figures: 558,076,000,000.    This massive figure amounts to almost two percentage points of the country's current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if we take each GDP percentage point to be around 300 billion colones (300,000,000,000).   Great! But what do these numbers actually refer to? This huge amount of money, according to data supplied...
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Melon-producing subsidiary dismisses all staff who were members of STAS. 10.03.2017
Fyffes has sunk even lower, dismissing all security staff who had joined the Union of Workers in Agroindustry and Allied Trades (STAS) from its melon plantations. The process of organising a sub-branch of the STAS union among security staff at Melon Export SA (Melexsa), one of three of Fyffes’s subsidiaries in Honduras, had been undertaken with great care and in total secrecy in order to avoid attacks from the company.   Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent Fyffes, once more, from showing contempt for the rights of its men and women workers.   “We held a mass meeting, and we...
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Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes workers campaign marks International Women’s Day 09.03.2017
“We do not want flowers, we want rights!”   International Women’s Day 2017 was marked by a demonstration outside the office’s of Fyffes’ subsidiary in Cholutecca, Honduras yesterday, by women workers suffering violations of their labour rights, including non-payment of minimum wages and social security, non-recognition of their union by the company, and sackings of workers who join the union.     View more pictures from the demonstration here.   International solidarity and support   Banana Link published a video in which Iris Munguia, Coordinator, COLSIBA (the Regional Coordination of...
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Will new owners of Fyffes tackle continued labour rights abuses in Central America? 22.02.2017
Twenty eight organisations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States, gathered in Bologna this week, are calling on the directors of the newly acquired Fyffes to address continuing labour rights violations in Costa Rica and Honduras.   In the face of the global Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes Workers campaign, systematic sackings of union members at Fyffes Honduran subsidiary Suragroh continue.   In the last week we understand that 65 security staff have been sacked. This move follows the establishment of a new union branch committee established to represent these...
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International delegation gathers further evidence of labour rights violations at Fyffes subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Honduras 10.02.2017
“The pineapple that the consumer eats, they should know that they are consuming the sacrifice we make with our lives” – Cruz Urvina Lopez, worker at Anexco, Costa Rica   Between 21 and 25 January an international delegation of representatives from Banana Link, the GMB union, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), 3F (General Union of Danish Workers) and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) visited Costa Rica and Honduras to meet government officials, local trade union representatives and workers at Fyffes subsidiaries, Anexco and Suragroh respectively. Honduras – Suragroh and...
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“Fyffes is an arrogant and authoritarian company” 10.02.2017
From January 23 through 25, an international mission formed by several international organizations, including the IUF, visited Honduras with the aim of verifying reports of serious violations of workers’, union and human rights committed against women employed by the melon companies owned by Fyffes, an Irish fruit multinational corporation. La Rel spoke with Alistair Smith, international coordinator of the NGO Banana Link, to learn about the outcome of the mission. What is your assessment of this visit to southern Honduras? Very positive. We met with the organized workers of the melon...
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Innovative Customs project for bio-bananas 03.02.2017
Following the success of an innovative Customs project in the port of Antwerp for smoother imports of bio-bananas, i.e. bananas grown organically without the use of pesticides or other chemicals, a digital "bio-certificate" will be introduced EU-wide as of April 2017.   A highly advanced EU pilot project was recently rolled out in the port of Antwerp, more specifically in the BNFW fruit terminal, in which the Customs service played a prominent role. In this leading fruit port the possibilities were trialled for replacing the paper bio-certificate with a more reliable and above all faster...
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18 banana plantations suspended in Laos 03.02.2017
Authorities in the northern Lao province of Bokeo suspended the operations of 18 Chinese-backed banana plantations after they discovered widespread violations of the regulations governing the use of agricultural chemicals, government officials told RFA's Lao Service.   “It has been a problem for the environment as the Chinese companies destroy the environment with their heavy use of chemicals,” a provincial official told RFA’s Lao Service.   The companies have also planted banana trees in areas where they aren’t permitted, the official said.   “The Chinese investors also plant outside of the...
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Freedom and fairness for Fyffes workers! - ACT NOW 20.01.2017
A global Alliance of unions and civil society organisations, including Banana Link, is calling on Fyffes - the number one importer of bananas to Europe, and among the largest global marketer for Supersweet pineapples and winter season melons - to respect the rights of workers in its global supply chains. Serious abuses of labour rights in Costa Rica and Honduras Since the summer of 2015, the Make Fruit Fair! campaign has collected evidence of very serious violations of core labour standards at specific Fyffes' subsidiaries, including failure to pay minimum wages and social insurance (an...
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