Report discovers mistreatment of Italian tomato farm workers


Investigation discovers proof of abuse of farm labourers in Italy, which supplies 60% of the processed tomatoes sold in the UK. Food retailers are being asked to examine the way they procure tinned tomatoes and passata after an examination discovered confirmation of far reaching abuse of farm laborers in Italy.

Around 60% of processed tomatoes sold in the UK originate from Italy where the Ethical Trading Initiative, a body that unites organizations, trade unions and voluntary associations to enhance conditions at retail suppliers, said it discovered “massive exploitation” of transient workers who pick and pack tomatoes.

Its report said migrants from outside the EU commonly worked extend periods of time with wages 40% lower than the legitimate cost. Unlawful gang masters known as caporali were taking a cut of laborers’ pay and social commitments abandoning them procuring as meager as €3 an hour over a 10-to 12-hour working day. Legitimately utilised laborers would take home €8.20 per hour.

Unpaid labourers are lessened to living in relinquished buildings or ghettos. An expected 100,000 are compelled to live in unsanitary and abandoned lodging, as indicated by the research institute Osservatorio Placido Rizzotto.

Nick Kightley, the ETI’s food and farming adviser said that companies routinely ignore employment laws in a race to make the biggest possible profit. As per records the number of expat agriculture workers in Italy is evaluated at 116,000. Interestingly the Italian Association for Legal Studies on Immigration proposes the figure is 500,000, including consistent and irregular migrants.