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A recent Channel 4 documentary has brought to light some of the shocking work practices that exist within the food industry today. The programme ‘Supermarkets: the real price of cheap food’ highlighted the vulnerability of workers on zero hour contractors and how they are being exploited to save on employment costs.
Undercover reporters went to Honeytop Speciality Foods, a farm which supplies supermarkets with own label produce. While they were on site they heard stories of workers having their work shoes stolen, and being forced to buy new ones or they would not be able to work on site.
Health & Safety breaches were also evident, as workers were put on production lines without any training. An employee was even seen crawling up a conveyor without any safety apparatus to restart the machine.
These latest allegations have heard calls once again for the Gangmasters Licensing Authorities (GLA) to receive more support and funding, to help them combat these sorts of illegal practices by gangmasters.
In a statement the Fresh Food Produce Consortium concur with the views that the GLA needs more funding; “We support the GLA in stamping out any abuse or exploitation of workers. Sufficient funding must be provided for the GLA to be effective and assist the industry in eradicating modern slavery.”
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