Experiences of forced labour in the UK food industry

Sam Scott, Gary Craig, Alistair Geddes

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    This report looks at evidence of exploitation and forced labour in sectors within the UK food industry.
    It draws upon in-depth testimonies from 62 migrant workers mainly originating from the EU and China.
    Three sub-sectors of the food industry are represented in the study:
    agriculture, food processing and minority ethnic catering. The research is based
    in five areas of the UK: south Lincolnshire and the Wash area, east-central
    Scotland (encompassing Dundee, Angus, Fife, and Perth and Kinross), Bristol
    and the south-west of England, London and Liverpool.
    The UK government recently reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating
    modern-day slavery by creating the criminal offence of ‘forced labour’.
    Focusing on sub-sectors of the economy known to be home to significant
    levels of exploitation, the report seeks to identify forced labour in four ways. It:
    • lists the key forced labour indicators affecting the 62 migrants interviewed;
    • highlights the labour-market contexts closely associated with forced labour;
    • discusses the practices employers engage in that, if severe enough or
    numerous enough, lead to forced labour situations;
    • identifies the negative outcomes that result from workers experiencing
    forced labour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationYork
    PublisherJoseph Rowntree Foundation
    Number of pages91
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-85935-921-1, 978-1-85935-903-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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