It’s a classic example of putting profits before people and planet, says GMB.
Fruit company Fyffes is destroying a wetland teeming with fish and birds in a bid to boost profits, a damning new report says.
A Costa Rican NGO working on environmental issues has published disturbing evidence of fruit giant Fyffe’s wilful destruction of water sources and wetlands in the north of the country. 
‘Bloque Verde’ (Green Block) has issued photographs of a canal built by Fyffes’ wholly owned pineapple subsidiary, Anexco, designed to drain the wetlands of Cuarto de Alajuela.
The move is in violation of legislation in a country where the Government has presented itself as a defender of its diverse natural environment.
Costa Rican wetlands cover seven per cent of the country and are part of an important ecosystem that sustains an incredible diversity of wildlife as well as mitigating against the worst aspects of climate change.
Moreover, they provide a basis for a number of sustainable activities including fishing and eco-tourism, not to mention a water supply for local communities.
Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said:
“Not content with paying below the legal minimum wage, making people work excessive hours in tropical heat, sacking pregnant women, dismissing workers for daring to form a union, threatening and assaulting union officials and generally treating their workers like slaves, Fyffes’ Costa Rican subsidiary is now intent on destroying one of the most important eco-systems on the Central American isthmus.
“Acting with complete immunity, the gangster capitalists are showing their contempt not only for their workers but also for the environment.
“It’s a classic example of putting profits before people and planet.
“They have clearly paid no heed to the famous quote attributed to the North American Cree nation ‘Only when the last tree has died, the last river poisoned and the last fish caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money’.”
Contact: Bert Schouwenburg on 07974 251764 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
"Denounce Ananas Export Company (Anexco) for destroying water sources and wetlands on Rio Cuarto de Alajuela. Pineapple companies continue violating health and environmental legislation without any regulation by the responsible public authorities. Rio Cuarto de Alajuela, October 23rd, 2017.
The Farmers Commission of Pital and the Northern Coordination of Land and Liberty, together with residents of the Rio Cuarto Canton in the province of Alajuela denounce Anexco for continuing to do grave damage to water sources and wetlands. The actions that have been denounced took place on Wednesday, October 18th in an Anexco farm situated 2km from San Rafael, Rio Cuarto.
As can be seen from the attached photos in the company's farms there is an incursion into a protected area of water sources and wetlands (they have built a large canal to drain the wetlands) The expansion of pineapple production continues to generate serious environmental impacts for the natural patrimony, particularly affecting water sources for entire communities in spite of the denouncements and movilisations by residents demanding that the authorities intervene and regulate the activity.
What is more, in the same zone, the Pital Farmers Commission has complained about the persistent effects on the local economy generated by the pineapple mosquito without, up to now, any assistance from the responsible public authorities..."
Previous press releases:
GMB Protest at Fyffes EGM
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Fyffes must repay the money they have stolen from their workers in Central America and enter into meaningful negotiations with their union representatives, say protesters
Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/newsroom/gmb-fyffes-egm-protest.html
Kick Fyffes Out Of ETI
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Fyffes Should Be Ejected By Ethical Trade Initiative For Abuse Of Workers In Tropical Fruit Plantations In Central America
Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/fyffes-out-of-eti
Fyffes Sack More Union Workers
Monday, February 20, 2017
Trade unionists from across Europe meeting today to discuss next steps.
Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/fyffes-sack-more-workers
GMB Exposes Bulling and Abuse in Central America
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
‘Gangster capitalists’ Fyffes are hiding behind an ETI ‘smokescreen’ while bullying and exploiting their workers, says GMB.
Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/fyffes-bullying-abuse