Dutch supermarkets want to tackle abuses in Italian tomato cultivation with trade union FNV. Recent industrial research shows that exploitation and illegal labor are common in southern Italy. Migrant workers in particular are victims of this.
The investigation showed that there are many abuses in the trade of canned tomatoes in particular. The Netherlands receives 4.8 percent of Italy’s total exports of canned tomatoes.
“Unfortunately, the research confirmed what we had already feared,” Jennifer Muller, director of sustainability at CBL, the Dutch supermarket chain, says in the statement. Radio NOS 1 News. According to the organization, it is essential that all parties involved become aware of the risks and “adjust their procedures accordingly”.
Tens of thousands of migrant workers work in Italian tomato cultivation, often without residence permits. In many cases, they work twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Workers are paid well below the legal minimum wage and do not get rest, and live in unfit housing.
The FNV and CBL indicated the responsibility of the European Union and the Dutch government in pointing out the violations to Italy. “We have to look together at how to improve the situation, because that is badly needed,” Muller says.
FNV and supermarkets would like to work with the Italian authorities to improve the current certification system for tomato producers. “This should be put on the international map,” said Petra Polster, FNV’s international secretary.