On the day food is celebrated globally, EFFAT sheds a light on the working conditions of all workers involved in the food supply chain.
As food production systems are increasingly susceptible to shocks such as disease, droughts and pests, as well as climate change, only in Europe 25 million people contribute daily to bringing food to our table, and protecting food rights and security.
Their dignity at work is EFFAT number 1 priority. Yet, in sectors such as agriculture, insecurity at work and low pay still too frequently reach the level of modern slavery, coupled with poor workers’ protection and occupational safety. Tourism is characterised by a high incidence of seasonal work – hence unstable working conditions. Food processing, especially meat slaughtering and other processing operations have been particularly identified with high levels of precariousness, with a high risk of social dumping with labour providers competing to source workers on the lowest possible pay and cut costs wherever possible.
As digitalisation spreads and competition in the food system becomes increasingly unfair, platform workers such as food riders operate daily with few possibility to enjoy their social rights. The recent and spreading revolts of fast food workers on both sides of the Atlantic enshrines the complexity of a sector marked by low pay, unstable working time and denied access to a union.
On World Food Day 2019, EFFAT reiterates its commitment to ensuring decent working conditions and fair pay from farm to fork for millions contributing to feeding the world.
Ph. Pietro Ruffolo , Flai CGIL