The production and sale of food generates billions worldwide. However, multinational corporations seldom assume responsibility for working conditions along their supply chains, and the environmental impact of their production. The study SQUEEZE OUT draws a transparent picture of the entire European orange juice supply chain, from the cultivation of the oranges to the marketing of the juice. Research findings in Brazil and Europe shed light on something that food retailers are all too happy to cover up: dependence and exploitation of workers on plantations and in factories, as well as environmental destruction, in particular through massive use of pesticides.
The study gives an overview of the citrus industry in Brazil, highlighting the economic profile of the main companies in the all relevant sectors: rural (farming and orange harvest), industrial (processing of oranges for juice production), as well as marketing and selling the final product (European retail). The findings of this study are based on a qualitative research method, involving two field trips: the first in June/July 2013 by German development politics NGO Christliche Initiative Romero e.V. (CIR)1 and the second in July 2015by CIR and Austrian environmental protection NGO GLOBAL 2000. Further, CIR commissioned a study by the Instituto Observatório Social (IOS) in 2013. In addition to primary sources (individual interviews with workers and trade union representatives), various secondary sources were used such as company or industry material, trade associations material, and information from government / MPT, trade press, universities, and others.
For more information, please download the full study or the executive summary