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The truth about the cashew trade

(by Traidcraft)

Nowadays, the way in which we shop is influenced by only a few huge retailers that abuse their power and incorporate ‘excessive risks and unexpected costs’ into their supply chains. To meet the demands set up by big supermarkets, millions of workers, farmers and producer are forced to work long hours for low pay in unsafe conditions. There is an urgent need for the European Union (EU) to come up with a regulation to stop these abusive trading practices in food supply chains.

Recently, attention has been paid to unfairness linked with the cashew supply chain. Traidcraft introduced an interactive tool featuring stories of Indian cashew workers and revealing who’s really getting the cash from cashews. In November, The Guardian also focused on this topic. Its article Campaigners attack profits made by supermarkets from bag of cashews highlights the effort of activists to urge the European Union to set up regulation to stop the abusive practices of low pay and poor working conditions in Africa and India.

Now the EU is showing signs of taking up the case against the industry. Next month, the commissioner for internal markets, Michel Barnier, is to make an announcement on unfair trading practices, amid mounting pressure for proper regulation. "Farmers and workers across the world are suffering every day because of unfair trading practices by supermarkets," said Liz May, head of policy at the fair trade organisation Traidcraft. "It's time the EU took action and set up a regulator with the power to stop abuses by retailers that result in extremely low pay and appalling working conditions."

You can also listen to The Guardian Global development podcast, “The truth about the cashew trade” for interviews with representatives of the Indian Cashew sector & largest Cashew processor, Felicity Lawrence (Guardian investigative reporter), Fiona Gooch (senior policy adviser at Traidcraft), Sir Jim Paice (Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire, and former UK minister of state for agriculture and food). Go to the 27th minute of the podcast to hear a request for Commissioner Barnier to act.

For more information on unfair trading practices and/or to take action visit Traidcraft’s GreedCo Campaign or follow Traidcraft on Twitter.

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