We join trade unions and labour rights groups in calling for the Thai pineapple industry to drop legal action against a British labour rights activist, and focus on respecting workers’ rights in the sector. Andy Hall is facing a defamation case for exposing modern-day slavery in Thailand’s canned fruit and fishing industry, brought by Thai-based Natural Fruit Company.
We are extremely concerned to learn of the civil and criminal charges against Hall, who produced the 2012 report “Cheap has a high price” for Finnwatch. We believe that a process of constructive engagement would be a more effective way to address allegations of serious labour rights abuses, rather than recourse to litigation. International consumers are ever more concerned about the providence of products they consume. The onus is on the Thai industry to be able to demonstrate that their pineapples are produced under conditions that meet international standards.
On behalf of our members, including international trade union organisations and relevant UK supermarkets, we call on the Thai pineapple industry to withdraw legal action against Hall. We specifically call on the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA) to use its influence with the Natural Fruit Company in this matter, and to address the serious accusations set out in the report.