Mindanao: The Land of Promise?

Fairfood International releases ‘The Land of Promise?’, a documentary that exposes the shocking working conditions in the Philippines pineapple industry

Almost 40,000 people work on the beautiful island of Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines, providing the world with pineapples. They get low wages for extremely hard work and have to struggle with unhealthy working conditions and uncertain temporary contracts. The documentary ‘The Land of Promise?’ was produced as part of Fairfood International’s newest campaign, in which it is encouraging large multinationals to opt for a more sustainable solution in the Philippines pineapple industry. Watch the full documentary on landofpromise.fairfood.org.

The Philippines is one of the largest pineapple manufacturers in the world. Fairfood International travelled to the most southern part of the country, the island of Mindanao, to film the documentary ‘The Land of Promise?’ in support of its newest campaign. The majority of the pineapples are manufactured on this island, which is also known as ‘The Land of Promise’ because of the forests, valleys and vast biodiversity. However, the reality on the island of Mindanao is harsher than this name would suggest: the majority of the workers are underpaid, have uncertain contracts and are immediately fired if and when they try to fight back.

In ‘The Land of Promise?’ plantation workers share their experiences with Fairfood. In addition, Fairfood visits inhabitants from the island, accompanied by a local social worker. These locals have been moved off their own land and have lived in poverty ever since. In the documentary, it becomes clear that there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Fairfood wants to make sure that every employee who works in the pineapple industry earns a fair living wage. Research has shown that a large proportion of the people who work for big pineapple manufacturers in the Philippines don’t earn enough to take care of their families and some workers earn less than the legal minimal wage. Eelco Fortuijn, Director of Policy & Advocacy at Fairfood International: “Fairfood fights to give the workers a salary that compensates their living expenses and also fights to give them better working conditions. These people suffer because companies want to keep production costs low. Fairfood wants to change this by positively influencing policies and processes in the pineapple industry.”

Watch the documentary on landofpromise.fairfood.org.

About Fairfood International
Fairfood International is an international non-profit organisation. It is Fairfood’s mission to improve the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable people, such as smallholder farmers, workers (especially women) and consumers in our food system and to ensure the sustainable production and consumption of food, by influencing the policies and practices of global food and beverage companies and governments.