The bitter-sweet reality of the sugar industry
In recent times the food industry has come under increasing scrutiny. While businesses and international governments are taking huge steps to rectify issues plaguing the food supply chain, a shocking documentary released this week highlights how the European Union’s involvement is leaving a sour taste across the sugarcane industry.
According to the report, in an attempt to stimulate growth in developing nations, the EU implemented a scheme known as “Everything but Arms.” Under this initiative, Cambodian sugarcane farmers are guaranteed a good price for their produce as well exclusion from tariffs and taxes when exporting their goods to the EU. Today, a huge 97% of the sugar exported to the EU is sourced from Cambodian plantations. Although the scheme sets out to support private businesses and local farming communities, it seems the consequences far outweigh the benefits.
Over the last 11 years the Cambodian agro industry has boomed and is now worth 10 million Euro every year. However, as demand grew, local farmers became victim to exploitation from both the Cambodian government and multi-national businesses. According to the report, many farmers had their land stolen and homes destroyed as the Government made space for bigger plantations. As local farmers lost their livelihoods, in order to survive, many were forced to work 10 hour days on plantation owned by international corporations, earning just £1.60 a day. With further accusations of child labor and infringements against human rights, it seems the EU’s “Everything but Arms” initiative has failed the vulnerable communities it was meant to protect.
To watch the full documentary, click here.
£1 billion investment to drive growth across UK automotive sector
As part of a strategy to support UK manufacturers, the British motor industry is set to receive £1 billion worth of investment over the next 10 years. In addition, a number of projects have been outlined which could potentially provide employment for thousands of people across the automotive supply chain.
As a result of collaboration between the government and private organizations, the motor sector has already received £6 billion over the last two years. However, this latest cash injection will help fuel further developments across the UK manufacturing sector. According to reports, the investment will be used to support global competitiveness, with a particular focus on low emission vehicles.
To read the full article, click here.
Have a great weekend!