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Fyffes banana farm first to receive new Rainforest Alliance certification

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2021. 11:23 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Heavyweight banana exporter Fyffes has secured a Rainforest Alliance certification for a farm in Costa Rica, employing a new management system approach to environmental, labor, social and economic risks, according to Fresh Fruit Portal.

Fyffes, now a subsidiary of Sumitomo group of Japan, has long been Belize’s primary exporter of bananas and implemented a Living Wage project here in conjunction with Rainforest Alliance.

The new system takes into account such things as a gender equality program at the worker level and the implementation of a salary matrix tool (resulting from a previous joint project).

A broader occupational risk assessment mechanism is also introduced, which leads to a comprehensive operations management plan and a clearer business focus towards sustainability, among other objectives.

“With this new milestone, Fyffes reaffirms its global leadership strategy in sustainability-related compliance,” says Hugo Hays, global director of compliance and food safety at Fyffes.

“Our commitment to facilitating the development of progressive, pragmatic and innovative solutions together with sustainability standards is once again demonstrated, and it helps strengthen the trust so demanded by our customers.”

The new certification standard requires the development of a management system that focuses on the mitigation and elimination of risks, therefore requiring the implementation of preventive and corrective actions. It also requires the standardization of the management system in all farms based on established procedures and controls and a comprehensive management plan in which all activities around the operation are considered.

In addition, the new standard promotes the prevention and elimination of human rights violations and compliance with national legislation. As an example, it introduced the issue of gender equality to all farm workers and employees and the development of a broader labor risk assessment mechanism.

Among its positive aspects, the new standard also contributes to creating a differentiation in the commercialization of the product, since it requires shared responsibility agreements between the farm and the buyers that meet Rainforest Alliance’s new Sustainability Differential and Sustainability Investments requirements.

 

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