Major meat company ends relationship with Gloriavale

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

A major meat company is ending its relationship with the Christian commune of Gloriavale over workers' rights.

Gloriavale.

In a statement to 1News, Silver Fern Farms said it "has decided to begin the process to discontinue any commercial arrangements" with Gloriavale company Value Proteins.

"We will now be working with all parties involved to bring this into effect," said a spokesperson for Silver Fern Farms.

A number of other companies are also thinking whether to move away from Gloriavale.

READ MORE: Court finds Gloriavale leavers employees, not volunteers

"We are currently reviewing our relationship with Value Proteins and have requested further information from them," said Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor.

Earlier this month the Employment Court ruled commune members are employees, not volunteers, and that there was child labour in Gloriavale.

Chief Judge Christina Inglis found that the three plaintiffs - Hosea Courage, Daniel Pilgrim and Levi Courage - were considered employees from the age of six.

"I do not accept the Gloriavale defendants' characterisation of work undertaken in this period of the plaintiffs' lives as 'chores' which might normally be required of a child by their caregiver," she said.

"Nor do I accept that the reference to 'work' within Gloriavale, in terms of what the plaintiffs did, held some sort of special meaning. It was work as work is commonly understood."

Gloriavale has been approached for comment.