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Recent reports by The Guardian (in conjunction with Humanity United) disclose the horrible reality of Asian slave labour used to produce prawns for supermarkets in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Guardian investigation, which spanned several months, reveals the reality of “Thai “ghost ships” that enslave, brutalise and even kill workers are linked to global shrimp supply chain”.

The supply-chain, which centres around the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, who buys fishmeal to feed to farmed prawns, sources its product “from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves.” These prawns are then sold “in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco”, the Guardian investigations claim.

[Review our latest ethical research on Supermarkets]

Frequent human rights abuses – including horrible working conditions, unfair labour policies, exploitation and even modern slavery – are an extremely important issue today when considering where to shop and what brands to buy, and highlight the need for economic and social transformation.

While slavery might seem like a thing of the past, modern slavery very much exists within the supply chains of certain companies and brands from across a number of sectors (from clothing to tea and sea food). The Tetley tea scandal that came to light a few months ago is one recent example of the extent of human exploitation in today’s economy.

But you can help assist the process of social and economic change – to create a better world where slavery and exploitation is abolished – by making sure what you purchase in the present economic climate does not support these horrific realities, but rather supports the ethical companies that are doing things alternatively. The latest research by The Good Shopping Guide provides background ethical information about 1000s of companies and brands, showing ones you should avoid and which you should support.

For more information on the Guardian investigation, please see: Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarketsTrafficked into slavery on Thai trawlers to catch food for prawns and Thailand’s seafood industry: a case of state-sanctioned slavery?Impossibly Cheap: Abuse and Injustice in Bangladesh’s Shrimp Industry.

Also see: How to buy slavery-free prawns – and have a positive impact on the industry

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