News of the Keeling family recruiting a large number of overseas staff for their fruit production system has not sat well with the Irish public, with many asking for a nationwide boycott of their products.
The fruit producer recently flew over 180 workers from Bulgaria, on a chartered Ryanair flight, in order to have adequate staffing for their production system.
The fruit production company announced the return of the overseas staff in a recent statement, saying: “It is essential that we have adequate staffing on the farm to pick crops quickly as they ripen, or we risk shortages in the market.”
“Across our entire business, we have also worked tirelessly to implement the HSE and Government guidelines to ensure we are protecting the health of all of our people.”
“This includes thorough & repeated Covid19 safety coaching and instruction to follow all the HSE guidelines, which includes 14 days of restricted movement for any new arrivals in the country, prior to starting work in Keelings.”
In this statement, they acknowledge the concerns over the risk that this move may have for the control of the worldwide pandemic but want to assure the public that all measures in the interest of public health have been taken.
The reaction to this news has been negative, with many people commenting on and sharing the post on social media platforms, highlighting the risk that one company has decided to inflict on the entire country.
One commenter said: “We will not be buying your products and we will be asking our friends and family to do the same. Thank goodness someone was brave enough to expose what is going on. Karma. You reap what you sow.”
“You should be ashamed of yourselves, all our support and hard-earned money kept you in jobs, buying local, but you employ from other countries, a total joke. I will never ever support your company again,” another said.
At the time of writing, The Keeling Family have yet to respond to the ongoing criticism.