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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Fair Trade campaign urges EU to set up regulation protecting African and Indian workers

Fair Trade activists are exhorting the EU to set up regulations which will prevent low pay and poor working conditions for African and Indian workers. Campaigners are objecting to an economic model in which a supermarket earns just over £1 from a bag of cashews sold for £2.50 while the factory worker in these developing countries makes 3p per day. Remarks made by EU Commissioner for internal markets, Michael Barnier, suggest that a case may be taken up against the industry.
"Farmers and workers across the world are suffering every day because of unfair trading practices by supermarkets," said Liz May, head of policy at the fair trade organisation Traidcraft in an interview with the Guardian newspaper. "It's time the EU took action and set up a regulator with the power to stop abuses by retailers that result in extremely low pay and appalling working conditions, " she said.
ESM magazine reports that with its premium price, the cashew nut industry could be a great opportunity for Africa and India economically. Globally, it is a $4 billion (£2.5 billion) industry that provides jobs for millions.