There is an excellent piece from earlier this year at The Ecologist by Ed Hamer:
Two hundred years after abolition, modern-day slavery is still a fact of life for 800 million of the world’s rural poor. Where once there were merchants there are now multinationals; where there were slave-drivers, there are now economies of scale. The transition from the sugar estates of the commonwealth to today’s commodity plantations has been seemingly effortless. The infrastructure remains, all that has changed is the name; from exploitation to externalities.
The Chiquita story is by no means exceptional, but a symptom of our rapidly globalizing agricultural economy. As the pursuit of competitive production has fueled the race for minimal social and environmental standards, it is inevitable that those at the very bottom of the supply chain will ultimately pay for ‘economy’ foods, through their health and the environment. Read more…
Thanks to Paul Williams and Jeremy Williams at Make Wealth History for bringing the story to my attention.