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13 Jul 2014

Matthew Ogg, Fresh Fruit Portal

Expert says Thai produce industry gains “unfair advantage” by allowing Natural Fruit’s case against Andy Hall to proceed & causing “fear of reprisals in would-be auditors”

“Opinion: it’s time to drop the charges against Andy Hall in Thailand”, 7 July 2014

I don’t hold high expectations that the a large section of the produce industry will call on Natural Fruit to drop the charges against Hall, but here’s why I think it should…[T]he produce sector has worked hard over the course of decades to improve the lives of farmworkers…If we are to look at this from a strictly economic or competitive perspective, that progress can imply a certain cost for growers and manufacturers who do not have recourse to exploit workers if they are so inclined. However, it is a cost that most are willing to bear…In this context, regardless of how labor conditions actually are in Thailand…or whether Hall is right or wrong, the Thai industry gains an unfair advantage against other nations from the fact that cases like this actually can take place, and regardless of their outcome these litigations stoke fear of reprisals in would-be auditors…

Part of the following timelines

Natural Fruit urged to drop cases against migrant workers' rights activist Andy Hall

Reports and statements on lawsuits filed by Natural Fruit against researcher and activist Andy Hall for alleged defamation