Friday, September 7, 2018

Your “Florida” orange juice likely comes from slave labor in Brazil

It's nice to imagine the Sunshine State putting all those oranges into the bottle. But after a citrus disease reached Florida in 2005 which reduced production by over half and increased prices by $2 a gallon, Brazil stepped up production and used the money in part to buy up the production facilities in Florida, shutting them down. So now more than half the OJ in your bottle comes from Brazil, adding to climate impacts. High pesticide use has also been reported. But the situation is worse for the workers.

One 2015 report from activist organization Supply Cha!nge called the orange picking industry in Brazil "a modern system of slavery." Workers are sometimes unpaid for weeks and trapped in employment contracts that keep them in debt and stuck on the plantation, the report says.

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