The Guardian’s article, September 20, 2020: “We pick your food: migrant workers speak out from Spain’s ‘Plastic Sea”‘

Sep 25, 2020 | News | 0 comments

The Spanish Ethical Trade Forums/ Foros Comercio Etico are deeply saddened to read the migrant workers’ testimonies contained in the recent The Guardian article. Every worker has the right to decent working conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity, and the Forums believe it is completely unacceptable that the issues reported continue to exist within a subset of our industry.

The Forums are grower-led, meaning that we share and build on our members’ good practice and practical experience in finding solutions to difficult issues.  We work hard to raise awareness, build capacity and provide practical guidance tools, enabling members to deliver improvement throughout their operations.

During the Covid-19 pandemic for example, our members developed a series of training tools and resources to support the industry through the challenges it faced to protect workers and secure jobs. In response to the issues posed by substandard accommodation, we brought together the expertise of our members to create a practical guide that could be accessed by all growers in the region, not just Forums members. Members have also recently created guidance available to all in the sector on using temporary labour providers responsibly and on creating equality plans.  In addition, we are working to build capacity for constructive dialogue between worker representatives and growers, effective grievance mechanisms and mobile-based worker surveys.

We are committed to continuing to engage with all key stakeholders, including unions, growers’ associations, CSOs and government agencies, and strongly encourage growers implicated in The Guardian investigation to actively engage in the Forums, so we can work together to ensure that all workers’ rights are respected throughout our industry.