Asparagus slavery campaign scrapped

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The social affairs ministry has scrapped its campaign against abuse of migrant workers by asparagus growers effective immediately following complaints from sector organisation ZLTO.

Many growers hire illegal workers – often from eastern Europe – for the asparagus harvest. housing conditions for these migrant workers are often minimal at best, and rates of pay are low.

The sector organisation took exception to the slogan “Dutch asparagus, with a creamy modern slavery sauce.”

ZLTO said the text was a generalisation and damaging to the sector. “Of course excesses do occur, but they are few and far between,” a spokesperson said.

The organisation and the asparagus growers say they do subscribe to the objectives of the anti-abuse campaign: “All asparagus growers must adhere to the collective labour agreement and labour conditions.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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