An 11-year-old boy, who is a coffee worker in Mexico, is shown in this undated handout photo. A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip. The Risky Goods report says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce many of Canada’s food imports. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Juan Cuevas, World Vision Mexico *MANDATORY CREDIT*

An 11-year-old boy, who is a coffee worker in Mexico, is shown in this undated handout photo. A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip. The Risky Goods report says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce many of Canada’s food imports. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Juan Cuevas, World Vision Mexico *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Child labour behind every Canadian’s grocery haul, and it may get worse: World Vision

Report says imports from Mexico account for the largest value of risky products,with $965 million in 2019

A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip.

The “Risky Goods” report estimates more than $3.7 billion in goods involved child labour in 2019 – a 63 per cent increase from 10 years ago.

The report says imports from Mexico account for the largest value of risky products, with $965 million in 2019.

The report also says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce much of Canada’s food imports.

Previous research by World Vision estimates the pandemic has pushed as many as eight million boys and girls into labour.

Report author Simon Lewchuk says COVID-19 is undermining previous gains that had reduced those numbers by 94 million since 2000.

“This compromises children’s health, safety, and education. And COVID-19 is making the problem worse,” Lewchuk said Wednesday in a release.

“It’s time for Canada to stop dragging its heels and introduce legislation requiring companies to take action against child labour and other human rights abuses in their supply chains.”

Imports of items prone to child labourhave surged over the past decade, with a 188 per cent increase in cashews, a 173 per cent increase in chili peppers and a 98 per cent increase in palm oil, said the report.

World Vision encourages shoppers to buy from companies that participate in ethical certification systems that significantly reduce the likelihood of exploitation. Labels include Fairtrade Certified, Fair For Life Certified, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified.

“Canadians have the power to demand an end to the suffering behind our food by supporting retailers who choose to be more transparent about what they are doing to eliminate exploitation in their supply chains and ensure there are more ethically certified food items on their shelves,” said Julie Francoeur, executive director at Fairtrade Canada.

The Canadian Press

Groceries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kenney to announce plan for truckers to get COVID-19 vaccinations in nearby states

Alberta is approaching 25,000 active cases of COVID-19, and there are more than 600 people in hospital with the illness

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

swim
Stay safe this summer – don’t overlook swimming lessons

National Summer Safety Week runs May 1st – 7th

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Big truck semi trailer moves on the highway towards sunset
Alberta’s cross-border truckers to be vaccinated at Montana rest stop

2,000 Alberta truck drivers who transport goods across the border will be able to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Montana

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

Most Read