Yesterday in Thailand, the trial against Finnwatch and researcher Andy Hall began. Finnwatch, which monitors Finnish companies in developing countries and economies in transition, commissioned Andy Hall to coordinate a field research in Thailand which included Natural Fruit, a maker of tinned pineapple and juice concentrate
The most alarming findings were based on interviews with Natural Fruit’s employees. The workers, some of whom were undocumented migrants, reported poor working conditions, unlawfully low wages, confiscation of official documents, use of child labor and excessive overtime.
Finnwatch communicated the findings to relevant Thai ministries in December 2012. Natural Fruit was also contacted repeatedly during the research process.
As a response to the report, Natural Fruits has submitted two lawsuits in Thailand against Andy Hall who faces seven years in prison for defamation if found guilty. Natural Fruit is also demanding seven million euros for damages.
Several Finnish buyers cancelled orders to Natural Fruits after the report was published.