Earth Focus

Season 2012 Episode 02.29.12

Italian Orange Harvest

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Italian Orange Harvest
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Orange Harvest, an original investigation by Britain's Ecologist TV exposes the poor conditions and low wages endured by African migrant workers harvesting oranges in southern Italy. Andrew Wasley reports from Rosarno, Calabria that as many as 2,000 migrants travel to this small agricultural town from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast to make a meager living picking oranges that end up in markets or as juices or concentrates used in making soft drinks. This investigation has led to calls for multinational food and drink firms purchasing orange ingredients from the region to address the problem. Italy's largest farmers association says it has written to several companies including Coca Cola, manufacturer of the Fanta orange drink -- complaining that prices paid for orange concentrates are unfair and foster unbearable living conditions for migrant workers. Coca Cola says its direct Calabrian supplier was given a clean bill of health by an independent auditor as late as May 2011 but admits the nature of the supply chain means it is unable to audit every farm or consortium whose juice may be bought by its supplier. Coca Cola is now examining how it can help facilitate "fair" conditions and wages for workers harvesting oranges in southern Italy.moreless

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