Public Statement on CAO's Audit Report

DINANT STATEMENT IN REGARDS TO THE CAO’S AUDIT REPORT OF IFC INVESTMENT

Following the publication of the audit report performed by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) on IFC´s (International Finance Corporation) investment in Corporación Dinant S.A. de C.V., Dinant would like to state that it does not agree with certain comments in the report, which the company feels are unfounded. Dinant takes the allegations in the report very seriously and will use all mechanisms at its disposal to defend its reputation, as well as that of its founder and Executive President, Miguel Facusse, and its staff.

 

The company will soon release a more in-depth analysis of the report, in keeping with the spirit of the statement made on Page 46, Paragraph 1 of the report and which indicates that: “allegations are recognized as such and should not be confused with findings of fact”[1].

 

For over 50 years, Dinant has worked to establish itself as one of Central America’s leading agribusiness and consumer goods companies, fully respecting the laws of the countries in which it operates, providing high quality products, while supporting its employees, creating opportunities in communities, and protecting the environment.

 

As a truly regional business, Dinant operates throughout Central America and the Caribbean, creating nearly 8,000 direct jobs, generating valuable exports that benefit the Honduran economy, as well as contributing to the economy of the rest of the countries in which it operates.

 

Promoting actions that facilitate progress and harmony in the areas where it operates, Dinant develops products and projects that generate economic, social and environmental development through community engagement and inclusion, respecting human rights and ensuring safety and occupational health for its employees.

 

From the very beginning, Dinant, its Executive President and family, have carried out concrete actions in developing CSR programs to maintain a close relationship with the communities where it operates, by supporting education, health, and preservation of wildlife and forests. Dinant has always pursued improvement over its operational practices in terms of environmental safety.

 

As part of the loan granted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in order to ensure that these actions are consistent with international standards and practices, Dinant has adhered to the development and implementation of an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP), which was agreed with the IFC in order to help the company raise environmental and social standards in Honduras, a developing country that struggles with poverty, insecurity and lack of economic opportunities for many of its citizens.

 

This ESAP is currently being implemented by Dinant. Significant progress was made during 2013 and its fulfillment is expected by the end of 2014. Dinant has found in IFC a strategic partner to improve the company´s performance in all of the above mentioned actions, including among many relevant issues, the following:

 

 

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

As a result of the conflicts generated in the Aguán Valley in Honduras, one of the sites where Dinant operates, the IFC recommended that Dinant hire a security and human rights expert to ensure that its policies, procedures and training are in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, an internationally accepted benchmark for security operations, which promotes safety and respect for human rights.

 

Dinant has adopted the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights as part of its efforts and commitment to the country to continue operating in a safe, transparent and respectful manner. This program is a groundbreaking initiative in the agribusiness sector and Dinant is leading its implementation in Honduras.

 

 

Community Engagement

Dinant is currently working with highly qualified social sector consultants to improve its Community Engagement Program, which includes a stakeholder mapping, socio-economic baseline survey, assessment on socio-environmental risks with its mitigation measures and a formal establishment of its grievance mechanism to strengthen relations with the communities near its operations.

 

 

Environmental and Social Management

·      In order to obtain international certifications, such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, Dinant has developed an evaluation of its environmental, health and safety (EHS) management system and is currently being assisted by external consultants to conduct an action plan to achieve these certifications by 2014. 

 

·      Dinant is investing in upgrades to its industrial operations, including wastewater treatment, atmospheric emissions controls for boilers, and occupational health and safety measures.

 

 

Moving forward, Dinant will continue working closely with IFC in order to comply with their performance standards to elevate its operational performance. The company, its owner and employees, have always publicly made a strong stand for a peaceful and final resolution of the fragile and delicate situation in the Aguán Region, with respect for the lives of all individuals and in compliance with all laws. Dinant has also publicly stated its willingness to collaborate with all authorities in any investigation process that may derive from any of the tragic incidents that have occurred in the Aguán Region or any part of the country.

 

CORPORATE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

 


[1] CAO, Audit of IFC investment in Corporación Dinant S.A. de C.V., Honduras (December, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information