The exploitation of the weakest is still ongoing all over the world and even in our country. The ethical supply chains trying to oppose this system, so let’s see together what it is.
It is said that work ennobles man and in many cases this can be considered truthful, but what to think when work is nothing more than an imposition and an abuse, underpaid and with a propensity for exploitation? It almost makes you smile to think of such a word in the twenty-first century, yet around the world there are still many human beings exploited and who are not recognized any kind of right. If you think that this happens only in distant, perhaps exotic places, you might be surprised to discover that in our very civilized country, the phenomenon of illegal hiring is actually alive and well.
Who are the “corporals”
The term gang-mastering refers to a system of recruiting illegal labor put in place by the so-called “corporals”, who hire staff on a daily basis, thus evading all state control systems. It is not just a question of defrauding the State without paying the necessary taxes, but in this way all the fundamental rights of workers are trampled and they find themselves having to carry out activities – often tiring – for a negligible pay and without any kind of protection from the employer. of work.
Often the hiring has been associated with organized crime but this is not always the case as it turns out to be a widespread malpractice even among very respectable – at least apparently – citizens, who need low-cost labor to collect fruit and vegetables or carry out other activities.
One might think that it is a typical problem of southern Italy, the predominantly agricultural one and, although there are many territories that suffer from the phenomenon, such as Puglia and Calabria, in reality these practices are also widespread in places such as Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Lombardy.
The caporalato was brought to the surface and to the attention of the national media in the 1980s but has very ancient roots and therefore extremely difficult to eradicate, especially in territories where controls are lacking. With the intensification of migratory movements and masses in search of a better life that we have witnessed in recent decades it has been much easier for the exploiters to acquire such personnel, becoming a social plague. Nonetheless, associations are springing up to put an end to this exploitation that has been tolerated for too long.
Ethical supply chain
In Italy, the first ethical chain against illegal hiring was recently born thanks to Megamark di Trani, a supermarket chain and the international association NO CAP, founded by an engineer from Cameroon, who deals precisely with enforcing not only workers but also the environment.
Ethical supply chains have become very important to prevent the exploitation of territories and people, who have been active for some time in African and South American territories with products such as chocolate, coffee and many others. To recognize them, it is sufficient to look on the packaging for the stamp of the relative association, in this way the consumer can immediately identify them and decide, perhaps, to buy them to support the cause.
The same happens with the products sold in the Megamark, initially in Basilicata, Puglia and Sicily, all with the NO CAP stamp, purchased by the association and made by hundreds of non-EU farmers from countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mali, usually the demographic band most exploited by corporals.
The association guarantees them accommodation, fair wages, a real employment contract, health care and timetables that respect the dignity of the human being. It should not be added that they are also protected in the workplace with individual safety devices, therefore excellent safety shoes , work gloves, masks and so on. Choosing to buy these products, therefore, is not only ethically correct, but allows you to actively fight, using only your wallet, crime and malpractice.
What are the NO CAP products
Being the fruit of the earth, the main products sold with the NO CAP stamp are preserves, tomato purées and fresh vegetables. In Foggia, for example, tomatoes are harvested with which they are then made peeled and puréed while in Basilicata peppers, grapes, lettuce, artichokes and fennel. Finally, in Ragusa, there are different types of tomatoes such as cherry tomatoes or yellow tomatoes. In addition to the sticker, you can recognize all NO CAP products by the wording “IAMME”, a brand created in collaboration with Megamark, soon available also in other supermarkets such as Dok, Famila, A&O.
For those wishing to deepen the subject and understand the conditions to which thousands of workers are still subjected today, it is possible to inquire with documentaries such as the one made with the patronage of Amnesty International, “The green blood” directed by Andrea Segre. The documentary in question talks about the clashes that took place between immigrants and the population of Rosarno, in Reggio Calabria, which took place in January 2010 and which featured hundreds of irregular laborers protesting against inhumane treatments and often injured by blows of compressed air guns.
Another documentary that talks about the social commitment and life of the politician Pietro Alò is “La follia degli honest”. Alò fought against illegal hiring in Puglia as early as the ’70s, helping to bring out the problem by bringing it under the eyes of all with street protests.
Finally, also worthy of note is “Riso amaro”, a 1949 film by Giuseppe De Santis which presents the hiring of Italians themselves, in a historical period in which immigration was not yet such a widespread phenomenon in our country.