Fyffes releases results of Honduras melon operations transformation
To demonstrate a more responsible, ethical and environmentally positive melon business in Honduras, multinational fruit company Fyffes and its subsidiary Sol Group have published the initial results of the melon business transformation in Honduras.
The transformation is 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, labor, and farm relations.
Reflecting on the results obtained to date, Genivaldo Pereira commented: “We are pleased with the progress that has been made in the last 12 months.”
“Without a doubt, this is the beginning of a process of continuous improvement in which we are totally committed, not only to continue strengthening our sustainability strategy, but also to promote and strengthen the commercial and economic opportunity for Hondurans in the communities that surround our farms,” he added.
With the support of Fyffes’ executive leadership, the new management team has made major changes and improvements to Fyffes melon operations in Honduras, in terms of working conditions, social security, community investment and freedom of association.
Firstly, Fyffes has implemented 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 workers in the new operating procedures has been made and correct personal protective equipment for all workers, provided.
Secondly, local management has agreed with the Base Unions to pay temporary workers a bonus of approximately 80 percent of the social security payment. In addition, five medical clinics equipped with doctors, ambulances, and nurses hired during the peak season are available on or near the company's farms and Community Medical Brigades now provide medical care to 1,000 people from 15 communities during the off-season.
Thirdly, a Community Needs Assessment was carried out in Choluteca, near the company's melon farms, to identify the most important and urgent areas of community investment. As a result, projects such as the Melon Flavor Nutrition Program, the Implementation of Fyffes Gender Equality Program and the Safe Return to School Program were initiated in 2022.
Finally, during the last three seasons, the farms have hired members of the Union of Agroindustry and Similar Workers (STAS), a legitimate union but one that does not have subsection status on Sol Grop farms, thus providing freedom of association.