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18 Feb 2016

Andrew Wasley & Cecilia Ferrara, Guardian (UK)

Italy: Migrants harvesting oranges continue to face dire working conditions while many companies avoid responsibility

"How Italy's oranges are linked to a modern day story of exploitation", 18 Feb 2016

Each year, thousands of migrant workers...flock to [Southern Italy] looking for work in the seasonal fruit and vegetable harvests...[F]armers say that the prices they receive from buyers aren’t sufficient to sustain more permanent workers and regular wages...In 2012, an investigation [found many migrants harvesting oranges] to be living in squalid conditions, some in shanty-style camps, with no running water or electricity, others in abandoned farmhouses or derelict factories; some were found to be sleeping in the open...The revelations prompted an outcry across Italy and pledges from the Coca-Cola Company – which was found to be using orange ingredients from the region in its European-sold Fanta drinks – to extend its auditing of suppliers and facilitate talks to improve conditions across the supply chain...[W]ith record numbers of refugees and migrants now entering the EU, the situation in Rosarno is still precarious...NGO Terra!...says that tackling the problem has proved difficult because of the complex nature of the orange supply chain, meaning it is easy for companies to avoid responsibility...