United Kingdom: Supermarkets vow to cut ties with meat suppliers found to exploit workers

UK and European leading supermarkets say they would cut ties with any suppliers that did not meet their ethical standards after a Guardian investigation found allegations of widespread exploitation suffered by workers in meat plants across Europe.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), a representative body for UK retailers, including supermarkets and food-to-go restaurants, said companies carry out ethical audits of the suppliers they work with and would act on any information received through whistleblowers and investigations.

Andrew Opie, BRC’s director of food and sustainability, said: “BRC members are committed to upholding high standards of welfare for all people who work in their supply chains through audits and evidence-based investigations. Any practices that fall short of their high standards will not be tolerated.”

In the Netherlands, in which the Guardian uncovered numerous allegations of migrant workers suffering in abusive conditions, the Dutch food retail association Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel (CBL) said it was important to supermarkets in the country that safe and secure working conditions were present in their supply chains.

However, it said it was the government’s responsibility, at national and European level, to police law-breaking.

The original full article can be found at www.theguardian.com

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