Photo: Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will stop imports of tomatoes and tomatoes produced by Agropecuarios Tom SA de CV, Hortícola SA de CV and their subsidiaries, due to indications of labor exploitation.
Beginning October 21, officers will stop shipments of fresh tomatoes, after obtaining information indicating the use of forced labor against their workers.
The agency identified at least “five of the forced labor indicators” established by the International Labor Organization during its investigation.
Mentioned, among others, abuse of vulnerability, deception, wage withholding, debt bondage and abusive living and working conditions.
“The Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada established a strong framework for CBP to work closely with our Mexican and Canadian counterparts,” said Troy Miller, Acting Commissioner of CBP. “We are confident that the foundations we have built with our Mexican partners will allow for a collaborative and multilateral response to forced labor enforcement actions within North American supply chains.”
The agency cites that Title 19 section 1307 of the US federal laws prohibits the importation of goods produced, in whole or in part, by convicted labor, forced labor and / or contract labor, including forced or contract child labor.
“CBP detiene shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statuteHe added. “Importers of shipments in detention will have the opportunity to export the merchandise or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.”
It was added that since in October 2020, the Mexican authorities took action against the complaints of forced labor conditions in the same tomato plantation.
“Llo that demonstrates the shared commitment of the Mexican government to protect the human rights of workers,” it stands out.
In fiscal year 2021, CBP issued seven arrest warrants and two forced labor judgments.
According to the International Labor Organization, 25 million workers suffer forced labor conditions globally.