Massive Exploitation’ of Italian supply chains reinforces the urgency for retailers and processors to map their supply chains.

The report, published by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) on the 9th of December, said it has found “massive exploitation” in Italy’s agricultural and in tomato production. Italian tomatoes account for 60 per cent of processed tomatoes sold in the UK, ETI said.

The ETI has urged retailers to urgently map their supply chains “UK retailers typically enter the Italian supply chain at processer level and exploitation normally happens two tiers below that at the farm gate. It is also a hidden problem because of the illegalities surrounding Caporali and the employment of migrant workers. Despite this, UK companies have power and influence, and can and should act.”

This report follows the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which consolidates and adds to existing anti-slavery legislation in the UK and calls for businesses to take action and produce a “Slavery and human Trafficking Statement” once every financial year.

ETI’s food and farming advisor Nick Kightley “While this report is primarily about helping UK retailers ensure their supply chains are abuse free, UK food manufacturers that use tomato products sourced from Italy should also be very concerned, it’s crucial that manufacturers trace back through their supply chains.”

Calls mount for Thai shrimp boycott

This is however not an isolated incident. Calls to boycott Thai shrimp imports follows a report which has identified the use of slave labour in the processing of fish in Thailand.

Thailand is one of the world’s biggest shrimp providers. Despite repeated promises by businesses and government to clean up the country’s £7 billion seafood export industry, an Associated Press investigation has found shrimp peeled by modern-day slaves is reaching the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Following an investigation, various fish suppliers were unable to identify where they were sourcing their shrimp from, identifying a lack of transparency within their supply chains.

Read about the Modern Slavery Act 2015

The ETI has urged retailers to urgently map their supply chains

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