At Fresh Del Monte, we are committed to ensuring the livelihood, health and wellbeing of women workers everywhere. That’s why we are proud to announce that we have partnered with the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), the Universal Access Project of the UN Foundation (UNF), and five other global companies in advancing the health and well-being of more than 500,000 women workers. This partnership is part of a global movement by companies towards increasing ethical business practices that address the health and well-being needs of women in their workforce while ensuring long-term business returns. In the midst of a global pandemic, the importance of these commitments is increasingly evident – as women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the health, economic and caregiving burden of COVID-19.
“Women are the foundation of the global workforce, especially in sectors hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, like apparel and agriculture,” said Seema Jalan, Executive Director of the Universal Access Project at the United Nations Foundation. “When women can control their own health and well-being, it is a basis from which they can realize other rights and determine their own lives and futures. Companies have a unique opportunity to provide essential care that their workers want, while also helping build a healthier, more productive workforce that is actually more resilient to crises in the long-term.”
As part of this effort, our team in Kenya will be launching a women’s health and empowerment campaign that seeks to provide 10,000 women, including both our employees and women in the neighboring communities of Kiambu and Murangá Counties, with reproductive health information and services on family planning, cancer awareness, menstrual health, and STD’s between now and 2024. With women making up 45% of our workforce at Del Monte Kenya, we strive to offer them a safe workplace, access to quality reproductive health care, education on family planning and opportunities for growth. We cannot achieve “A Better World Tomorrow’’ without the support, dedication, and talent of each of our team members, including our women.
We are working to achieve this commitment by expanding our on-site health services in our six existing health clinics to provide reproductive health services and family planning. These clinics currently provide services to over 12,000 people, both women, men and their dependents. The clinics in Kenya are managed by a trained team of Wellness Champions and focuses on prevention as well as referrals to government health facilities or private providers. We will also be providing new health services and training to prevent sexual harassment and Gender-Based Violence in and out of the workplace. Additionally, we will engage our male employees as gender advocates – to speak out as active agents and stakeholders who can transform social norms, behaviors and gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination and inequality in our community.
At Fresh Del Monte, we aim to raise awareness and take a proactive approach to the health and well-being of our employees and our communities. Through the signing of the UNF Commitment on Women’s Health and Empowerment, we are adopting a framework that positions women’s health as central to empowerment, economic development, and decent work. We are excited to move this important initiative forward and to support women everywhere.