Bangor club investigated asparagus, cashew nuts and Chocolate Hazelnuts to discover if there was exploitation of workers at home or abroad. Three club members gave presentations at the September club meeting.
Mair found that cashew nut production has problems in India including acid burns to women from shelling cashew nuts. This has been reported in the press. Cashew nuts are not just snacks but are found in a great number of Indian dishes and people may not necessarily be aware that it is an ingredient.
Sheena discovered that child labour is a risk in West Africa, in the world’s two biggest cocoa producing countries Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Hazelnuts may have been picked by children working in farms in Turkey.
Gudrun found that Peru was one of the main producers of asparagus. Child labour is prohibited by law in Peru but apparently 20% of children are engaged in work. 4% of asparagus companies have no checks on age when employing people. She also found environmental issues in the production.
Possible actions to combat Modern Day Slavery are:- choose what product to buy (Soroptimists already support Fairtrade products); check company statements and ask company for an update on their progress against Modern Day slavery; buy locally sourced products with known provenance.