Fyffes' membership of an international organisation that promotes respect for workers rights around the globe has been terminated.

It follows failed attempts to resolve complaints about the treatment of workers at an associate company in Honduras.

The Dublin headquartered fruit trader had been suspended from the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since May 2017, after a complaint was made about it a year earlier by NGO Banana Link and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF).

The issue concerned the treatment of workers at the Fyffes Suragroh farm business in Honduras and centred on the right of farm workers to be represented by a union of their choice.

According to a statement from ETI, Fyffes had been asked to come up with solutions to the complaint. A final 60 day extension to the suspension was agreed by the ETI board in October of last year.

During that period a visit was made to Honduras by a former senior executive from the corporate sphere as well as a trade union representative.

They engaged in mediation in an attempt to agree "a meaningful way forward that would include engagement with local workers' representatives."

But ETI said that despite those efforts, Fyffes was "still failing to resolve the substantive concerns raised."

As a result, it said, a decision had been taken by the ETI board to terminate the company's membership.

"We recognise that in many locations, workers do not enjoy the full rights described in ETI's Base Code," said Peter McAllister, ETI Director.

"It's why we work with business to motivate companies to behave ethically to the benefit of workers in their supply chains and to improve their performance over a period of time."

"While our expectations are high, where possible we seek to promote engagement and reach practical collaborative solutions, rather than find fault."

"But, our processes allow ETI to act if there is insufficient progress, as has happened here."

He added that it is clear that when such mediation fails, no-one is a winner.

Fyffes, which is owned by a Japanese firm, has 28 days to appeal the decision.

So far the company has not responded to requests for comment.