Public Discussion - “Squeezing oranges in Brazil: social and environmental sustainability in the world's biggest producer and exporter”

The Global Education Unit of Future Worlds Center organised a public discussion on October 15th at Skali Aglantzias entitled “Squeezing oranges in Brazil: social and environmental sustainability in the world's biggest producer and exporter”, within the framework of the SUPPLY CHAINGE project.

The discussion featured Mr Marcel Gomez, from "Reporter Brazil”, an advocacy NGO in Brazil and Petro Kameri from “Friends of he Earth” Cyprus, who addressed the Human Rights violations and environmental damage in orange juice production, aiming to uncover the deliberate infringements along European orange juice supply chains, as well as the local reality in Cyprus and Europe.

Notably Mr Gomez mentioned that, “Brazil processes 55% of the worldwide orange juice and commands 77% of the global exports. Three multinationals control the Brazilian market and therefore the global market: Citrosuco/Citrovita, Cutrale, and Louis Dreyfus. However the wealth generated by the orange juice has not been shared along the supply chain: Brazilian rural workers have been facing precarious working conditions, what mean working hour over 44 hours and low wages. The use of pesticides is also a problem in terms of environmental sustainability. Brazil is the largest pesticides consumer in the world, and orange is the second crop more dependent of them, behind cotton, after soybean. Labor and environmental inspectors of the Brazilian goverment, public prosecutors and civil society leaders have been fighting against this situation. To accelerate this process, we believe that a stronger due diligence of European supermarkets, the most powerful actors of the orange juice supply chain, is urgently needed."

During the discussion, the results of the research conducted in Brazil this past July 2015, “SQUEEZE OUT: Behind the orange juice business” by the SUPPLY CHAINGE campaign, were also presented. The discussion was part of a speakers tour that took place in October in Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Italy, with last stop the International Expo in Milan.