Complaint #009: Certification Complaint
Del Monte Kenya Ltd. – Management Systems
Details of Facility:
-Del Monte Kenya Limited
-Growing, processing and marketing of pineapples and other
-Certified: December 19, 2002
-Certification Body: SGS
|Details of Complaint:
||Element of SA8000 Standard:
|Corruption relating to nondisclosure of complaints and
||Management Systems (clause 9)
Complacency and poor relations with neighboring community
|Outside Communication 9.12
February 15, 2005: SAI received a complaint from
the KHRC (Kenya Human Rights Commission), citing clause 9
in the SA8000 Standard, concerning human rights violations,
poor corporate relations between Del Monte and the neighboring
community, and the complacency of the company in addressing
these issues. The complaint was forwarded to Coop Italia,
a Del Monte customer and SA8000 certified company, and to
SGS, the certification body.
February 16, 2005: SGS reported that changes in Del Monte’s
management and organization made it difficult to address these
February 23, 2005: SGS updated SAI detailing that the KHRC
had invited the certification body to a forum scheduled for
January 20, 2005 but the forum was cancelled by the KHRC and
no reason was provided to SGS. Moreover, the surveillance
audit at the end of 2004 had been postponed to April 2005
due to company organizational changes. The certification had
therefore been suspended by SGS on February 14, before the
complaint was received by SAI.
An on-site audit was to be conducted after April but before
August 14, 2005 in order to end the facility’s suspension.
March 22-24, 2005: SGS conducted a surveillance audit and
determined that, based on its audit findings, the suspension
could be lifted. The next surveillance audit by SGS was conducted
June 27-29, 2005 and a recertification audit was conducted
at the facility January 16-20, 2006.
During its audits, SGS identified initiatives that the company
had undertaken to address community engagement. The CEO of
the company expressed strong support from the company to meet
and continue to meet the requirements of the SA 8000 standard
and also indicated that all steps would be taken to ensure
that relationship with the community improves. Several initiatives
toward supporting the local community were being implemented
1) Extended support to the local community including allowing
the use of its facilities such as the school;
2) Monthly meetings held with the local community;
3) Specific to KHRC, the company had organized a meeting at
the Blue Post Hotel in November 2004 with all stakeholders.
This meeting was attended by members from KHRC, various NGO’s,
company representatives and local community representatives.
Points pertaining to water supply, helping the local dispensary,
road improvements etc were discussed.
Additionally, SGS did not find specific violations against
the requirements of the SA 8000 Standard, though some minor
issues were identified and CAR’s were raised.
SGS conducted interviews with Union representatives and individual
workers in the day and night shift and no specific issues
or violations were indicated.
January 16-20, 2006: During the recertification audit, a
meeting was organized with a representative from KHRC. Overall,
his opinion was that the company and its management were adopting
a positive attitude towards the community. Some concerns were
raised with regard to the speed with which the company was
undertaking development projects and the KHRC representative
felt that communication with the company could be improved
and there must be a mechanism to ensure that some response
is sent from the company on receipt of communication from
organizations like KHRC.
Additionally, the company planned to focus on health and
safety and an EHS Manager had been appointed and several training
and awareness programs toward ensuring health & safety
in the operations had been adopted. Interaction with the Union
representatives indicated that there were no major issues,
though some concerns were raised about progress being slow
in some of the development projects. The plantation union
had been reconstituted at the time of the audit and the Union
representatives indicated that there was no interference from
the management at the time of the Union elections.
No major violations against the requirements of the SA 8000
were identified and interactions with residents of the company
villages and also the surrounding community did not indicate
any major issues.
Based on the above points that had been identified during
successive audits, the SGS auditors felt that the certification
could continue as the management demonstrated a willingness
to meet the requirements of the SA 8000 standard.
The company was officially recertified March 27, 2006. This
complaint was officially closed in August, 2007. The Certification
Body has continued to be in contact with the initial complainant
throughout the surveillance process at the facility.