Andy Hall’s Statement on 26th March 2018 Natural Fruit Co Ltd. 10 Million Baht Civil Compensation Ruling

I have been informed by my legal team of the disappointing decision of Prakanong Court on 26th Mar 2018 ordering me to pay more than 10 million baht damages to Natural Fruit Company. I respect the decision of the Court. But I also strongly disagree with the verdict. I remain committed to a process of reconciliation to resolve this dispute, and including all others I am involved in at present with Natural Fruit Co Ltd and Thammakaset Co Ltd, concerning only two of many other more cooperative, progressive and forward looking companies in Thailand. I remain committed to settling these disputes as is in the best interests of all parties involved and for the Thai government and its important reputation and trade interests. I remain committed to promoting best business and Government practice in promoting migrant worker and business and human rights practices in Thailand. Anyhow, I have immediately instructed my legal team to appeal the shocking decision. I did not expect this verdict and am very disappointed by it. This verdict is a major setback for rights and liberties of human rights defenders, migrant workers, labour/migration activists and researchers everywhere and casts a dark shadow over recent pertinent and practical positive progress the Thai government and Thai industry has made to improve migrant worker conditions. It is my strong belief that any damage caused to Natural Fruit’s reputation and business by my involvement in Finnwatch’s research was caused by the company’s own response to the research that is not compliant with modern corporate social responsibility principles and practices. As someone who committed my life to defending migrant worker rights, without any intended personal benefit, and albeit I am not perfect in my behaviour and actions in all circumstances, it is likely a challenge for me to pay the amount required by the Court to appeal this verdict. I will immediately seek to engage the international business community as well as those organisations and close partners who continue to stand firmly behind me. I continue to thank Finnwatch, my legal team and all my supporters for the support they continue to provide me.

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