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Issue #1528      23 November 2011

Consumer backlash against Coles’s killer chicken supplier

Melbourne - In just 24 hours, more than 1,000 Australians have joined an explosive campaign on Change.org calling on supermarket giant Coles to live up to its own ethical sourcing policy and stop buying chicken from a company accused of exploiting its largely migrant workforce.

Young mum Jade Cruse started the petition on Change.org after learning about the decapitation death of Indian migrant Sarel Singh at the Baiada Select Poultry chicken factory, west of Melbourne, in August last year.

Jade said Sarel’s death was the second fatality in six years and the latest in a string of incidents at the controversial chicken producer that prompted her to take action. Baiada – which has annual revenues of more than $1 billion – is involved in a major dispute with workers after allegations of unsafe working conditions, bullying, sexual harassment, and cash-in-hand contracts below minimum wage.

“I always shop at Coles and so do the rest of my family,” said Jade, a mother of one from Reservoir. “It is my understanding that Coles guarantee that all of their suppliers adhere to their ethical sourcing policy, which ensures workers have basic wages, health and safety standards in their factories.

“I’m not going back into a Coles store until they put some meat into their ethical sourcing policy – guaranteeing that when I buy a chicken or any other product from Coles, it isn’t produced by workers being exploited for profits.”

Change.org is the world’s fastest growing platform for social change, empowering millions of people to start, join and win campaigns on issues they care about in their community.

“The consumer backlash we have seen against Coles in the less than 24 hours since Jade launched her campaign is remarkable,” said Change.org Australian Director Nick Allardice. “Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Jade’s campaign take off.”  

Next article – Stateless asylum seekers hospitalised

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