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16 Jan 2024

The Guardian

Further allegations of violence and deaths at Del Monte farm in Kenya, incl. co comments

"Major human rights violations at Del Monte farm in Kenya, report finds"

.... Major human rights violations are being committed at a vast Del Monte pineapple farm in Kenya where there have been numerous deaths and violence, according to the conclusions of an unpublished report. The findings, seen by the Guardian, are highly critical of Del Monte Kenya and include claims that the company’s employees are working with a cartel of thieves, providing them with intelligence. The report says the farm has serious problems with organised pineapple theft, losing crops to gangs at a large scale.


The Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism first published allegations of violence and deaths at the hands of security guards at the Kenyan farm last summer.

Del Monte commissioned a human rights impact assessment of its Kenyan operations shortly afterwards. The report describes an intense conflict between loosely organised groups of pineapple thieves and Del Monte security staff, causing casualties on both sides, including injuries and death. It concludes that the Kenyan farm is causing major human rights harms across multiple areas to its staff and those living in communities surrounding it.


In response to the most recent deaths, Del Monte said it was 'cooperating with Kenyan authorities as they continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the four bodies retrieved from the Thika River'. The company said: 'Footage from when the men attempted to steal pineapple shows no foul play on Del Monte’s part.' Some supermarkets told the Guardian they had called on Del Monte to conduct a robust investigation into the latest deaths. Two said they had withdrawn the farm’s products from their shelves


Tesco suspended supply of Del Monte’s Kenyan pineapples last summer. Waitrose said it had stopped selling pineapples from the farm in September. Commenting on the four deaths in December, a Tesco spokesperson said: 'We were deeply concerned to learn of the new allegations concerning Del Monte’s Thika farm in Kenya. We took the decision in June 2023 to suspend Del Monte fruit products sourced from this farm following previous allegations, and this remains the case. Both directly and through cross-industry bodies, we continue to urge Del Monte to take appropriate and robust action, including making sure these most recent deaths are credibly investigated.


Part of the following timelines

Kenya: Security guards at Del Monte pineapple farm supplying UK supermarkets accused of assaults, killings & rapes of supposed trespassers

Kenya: A civil claim filed against Del Monte for alleged killings, rape and violence by security guards