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Senator Madigan calls on Australians to buy ethically this Christmas

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Senator John Madigan Independent Senator for Victoria

--- Media Release --- Senator Madigan calls on Australians to buy ethically this Christmas

December 17, 2015

Independent Senator for Victoria John Madigan has called on Australians to avoid cheap overseas produce sourced from unethical producers this Christmas in light of the scandal engulfing some of our major retailers.

It was recently revealed in a series of newspaper reports that Woolworths, Coles and Aldi all source seafood from a Thai company, Thai Union, that has been found to be using forced labour and child labour at its processing plants.

Senator Madigan said: “We know Australians love their seafood at Christmas time and we also know they love a bargain. But given recent revelations of extreme exploitation in foreign seafood processing plants, people need to ask themselves where their food is coming from this Christmas.

“There are very few Australians who would be willing to eat a plate of prawns that had been peeled by child slaves. Yet this is quite literally what we are confronting.”

Senator Madigan said the problem is not confined to seafood and people should be mindful of where their produce is sourced whatever they are buying, and wherever possible, to buy Australian.

“This is not a problem confined to seafood and nor is it just food sourced from developing countries like Thailand. There is evidence of widespread mistreatment of migrant workers on tomato farms in Italy for example, and one of our great local producers, SPC, is currently pursuing dumping allegations over the sale of super cheap Italian tomatoes on Australian shelves.

“I encourage people to buy Australian-sourced produce wherever possible this Christmas. Although you may spend a few extra dollars, you will be helping Australian workers, Australian farmers and Australian food producers while making sure you’re not playing any part in the grotesque exploitation of workers that goes into bringing some foreign foods to our shores,” Senator Madigan said.

Media contact: Nick Moss - ph: 0417 602 378