Paper finds severe labour exploitation in Spanish & Italian agricultural supply chains; reflects on potential action co's can take

Author: Cecilia Barral Diego & Lisa Szeponik, Loening - Human Rights & Responsible Business, Published on: 26 April 2018

Germany is the main market destination for Spanish and Italian exportations in the processed food market, with a particular focus on the fruit and vegetable sector. In crop year 2016/2017, Germany bought from Spain almost 2.0 billion kilograms of fruits. Citrus fruit, pepper and cucumber are among the most in demand...

Spain and Italy are among the EU countries where severe labour exploitation occurs more frequently and agriculture is considered to be one of the most exposed economic sectors to exploitative practices, and where, due to strong migration flows in these countries, many migrants or immigrants find themselves in a situation of extreme vulnerability and necessity: impoverished, discriminated, isolated with limited access to information and assistance and with no other real working alternative, becoming thus the main victims of exploitative labour practices...

This short paper tends to shed light and reflect on the way forward for companies to address labour exploitation in their agricultural supply chain. For that, it will first refer to some of the cases reported in Spain and Italy to then briefly reflect on the potential actions companies might take to tackle labour exploitation in their agricultural supply chain...

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Related companies: ASDA (part of Walmart) Cirio Coca-Cola La Rosina Srl Marks & Spencer Mutti S.p.A. Sainsbury's Starbucks Tesco Waitrose (part of John Lewis Partnership)