Del Monte fires 250… – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

1 minute, 31 seconds Read

Wayne Cook, the acting deputy managing director of Del Monte Kenya, said: “The safety and security of each individual within our company and the surrounding community are our top priority.”

The company also said the new security personnel have undergone a rigorous vetting process and extensive training, which includes de-escalation techniques and the use of minimal force.

Shortly after TBIJ’s original investigation, Del Monte ordered a human rights assessment to be conducted by NGO Partner Africa. The resulting report, the findings of which were seen by TBIJ, laid bare the scale of problems on the farm and included claims that company employees were providing intelligence to a cartel of pineapple thieves.

“G4S will have to deliver in a way which is sensitive, with trained guards, taking proportionate action and making sure there’s a reduction in violence,” said Peter McAllister of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which oversaw the commissioning of the human rights assessment. “The onus is now on G4S, and Del Monte needs to hold them to account to do that.”

As reported by TBIJ and the Guardian in June, the allegations of violence by the farm’s guards date back over a decade and included killings and brutal assaults.

In December, the bodies of four young men were retrieved from a river on the farm following a botched pineapple raid. Del Monte representatives were accused of offering bribes to locals in an attempt to cover up the circumstances around the deaths. Del Monte did not respond directly to allegations of bribery but said it had evidence to contradict the accounts provided by the witnesses.

Cook said the company was “committed to addressing the effects of the coordinated criminal operations targeting our fields and stealing large volumes of pineapples”.

TBIJ has attempted to contact the Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya for comment.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts