International Women’s Day: Fyffe’s launches Global Gender Equality Program

FYffe's is using the occasion of International Women's Day 2019 to officially launch its new Global Gender Equality Program, in association with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality. The project's first locations are farms in Honduras and Costa Rica.

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8 March 2019 | 0

Fyffes has launched its Global Gender Equality Program, which will begin on two of its melon farms in Honduras, as well as its pineapple farm in Costa Rica. The aim of the Gender Equality Program is to identify challenges to equality faced by women both in the workplace and in their communities. The issues are likely to vary from region to region given the culture and local context. Interventions taken by Fyffes to advance female equality will be adapted accordingly.

The program gives workers a confidential platform to highlight barriers at work and at home. It will give them skills to become decision-makers and leaders in the workplace, as well as at home with their families and their communities.

The program is being partially funded by the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and conducted in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), la Alianza Empresarial para el Desarrollo (AED) in Costa Rica and Fundación Hondureña de Responsibilidad Social Empresarial (FUNDAHRSE) in Honduras.

To date, the program has conducted independent survey interviews with 90 female and 113 male workers, as well as 7 managers in Honduras. In Costa Rica, the program has undertaken interviews with 21 women, 32 men and 7 managers.

The survey’s findings have revealed that most workers have a clear understanding of what is not acceptable behaviour at work; including sexual harassment, harsh discipline or violence. However, there is less awareness of the company policies regarding these behaviours and many workers said they would be reticent to challenge these behaviours or make formal complaints. For example two thirds of female workers interviewed in Costa Rica and 40 per cent of female workers in Honduras said they felt others would disapprove if they made a sexual harassment claim at work.

“I am pleased to be officially launching Fyffes Gender Equality Program on International Women’s Day,” said Fyffes global director of sustainability, Julie Cournoyer. “I would like to thank our partners for supporting what I believe is a very relevant project; focusing on improving conditions for women both on our farms as well as at home. Fyffes will learn from Costa Rica and Honduras as we continue to implement the Program across all Fyffes operations globally by 2021.”

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