This shocking find has renewed calls for an Australian-made grocery aisle

Australian shoppers may have unwittingly funded child labour, after it was revealed that leading grocery stores have imported prawns from a Thai company

Australian shoppers may have unwittingly funded child labour, after it was revealed that leading grocery stores have imported prawns from a Thai company accused of unethical practices. This shocking discovery has renewed calls for an Australian-made aisle at each grocery store.

Aldi, Coles, IGA and Woolworths have each confirmed they bought seafood from Thai Union, the company rocked by slavery allegations throughout its prawn peeling factories.

The Associated Press photographed migrant and Thai children being forced to peel prawns, allegedly spending 16 hours each day with their hands in freezing ice water. One girl was so young that she needed a stool just to reach the factory table.

Other workers reported being locked inside the factories, despite being sick, pregnant or exhausted. “We stopped working around seven in the evening. We would take a shower and sleep. Then we would start again around three in the morning”, claimed 16-year-old Eae Hpaw. 

At home, all four grocery giants are treating the allegations seriously, and have pledged to investigate their international supply chains. This isn’t enough for many Australian consumers, who are repeating calls for an Australian-made grocery aisle. 

Facebook user Peter Hewitt commented, “The gross disregard as to where products come (from) and how these products are prepared leaves me feeling very insecure about the quality checks”. 

Mr Hewitt continued, “…protect yourself and your family… until you see full and proper labelling of all products sold”. 

Facebook user Lin Golab added, “I buy very little fish and seafood because I will only buy Australian, and who knows what you actually get”.

Whilst Claire McCormick called the child labour revelations, “Another reason to buy local produce.”

Rita Colozzi summed up, “if you support local businesses and producers then you are less likely to be supporting unethical work practices; or at least start researching and asking questions about where your food is sourced from”. 

Would you shop in an Australian-made grocery aisle? Do you prefer local produce? Or do you chance it with imported seafood?

  1. I’m very fussy where my groceries are made, always look for Aussie products.

  2. I always shop Aussie. If what I want does not have produced or made in Australia I either substitute or think long and hard about whether I really need it. That goes for everything including clothes. Believe me buying made in Australia clothes is a real battle but the world is not ready for the naked me just yet.

    • Same here Anne. The clothes (when you can find them) are very expensive. We do have a local (small) manufacturer who is doing quite well as she says people are looking for quality. By spending that little bit more we are keeping someone in a job. So what if one only buys one new outfit each season – at least they will last. I hate the labels that say “designed in Australia – made in …..”.

    • Jeanette Southam My thoughts too. Between us we should be able to keep the country running. (y)

  3. The labelling may not be allowed under the TPP, but I always only buy Australian made.

    • I would love to know where you buy your clothes and appliances and any other household goods if you only buy Australian made, your house must be very bare.

  4. Australian grown and processed, without any halal tax, isle would be great.

  5. Absolutely would save a lot of time I now read a labels to make sure the products r Australia made and not just packaged here that’s how they get away with produce from overseas

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