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European Journal

Italy: The plight of tomato fieldworkers

Three euros an hour, or once euro cent per kilo - seasonal laborers on Italy’s tomato fields earn meager wages. Many come from Bulgaria, Romania and Senegal - and all hope they’ll see a better future.

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They carry out backbreaking labor under the scorching sun, live in desperate conditions, and are often mistreated by their supervisors. They don’t have the money to return home, and find themselves stranded and exploited without mercy - all to keep supermarket prices at rock bottom. Many have likened the conditions of these tomato farm workers as a form of modern slavery.