An 11-year-old boy, who is a coffee worker in Mexico, is shown in this undated handout photo. A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip. The Risky Goods report says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce many of Canada’s food imports. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Juan Cuevas, World Vision Mexico *MANDATORY CREDIT*

An 11-year-old boy, who is a coffee worker in Mexico, is shown in this undated handout photo. A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip. The Risky Goods report says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce many of Canada’s food imports. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Juan Cuevas, World Vision Mexico *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Child labour behind every Canadian’s grocery haul, and it may get worse: World Vision

Report says imports from Mexico account for the largest value of risky products,with $965 million in 2019

A World Vision report warns Canadians could be contributing to child labour with every grocery trip.

The “Risky Goods” report estimates more than $3.7 billion in goods involved child labour in 2019 – a 63 per cent increase from 10 years ago.

The report says imports from Mexico account for the largest value of risky products, with $965 million in 2019.

The report also says economic pressures of the pandemic are forcing more children to harvest and produce much of Canada’s food imports.

Previous research by World Vision estimates the pandemic has pushed as many as eight million boys and girls into labour.

Report author Simon Lewchuk says COVID-19 is undermining previous gains that had reduced those numbers by 94 million since 2000.

“This compromises children’s health, safety, and education. And COVID-19 is making the problem worse,” Lewchuk said Wednesday in a release.

“It’s time for Canada to stop dragging its heels and introduce legislation requiring companies to take action against child labour and other human rights abuses in their supply chains.”

Imports of items prone to child labourhave surged over the past decade, with a 188 per cent increase in cashews, a 173 per cent increase in chili peppers and a 98 per cent increase in palm oil, said the report.

World Vision encourages shoppers to buy from companies that participate in ethical certification systems that significantly reduce the likelihood of exploitation. Labels include Fairtrade Certified, Fair For Life Certified, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified.

“Canadians have the power to demand an end to the suffering behind our food by supporting retailers who choose to be more transparent about what they are doing to eliminate exploitation in their supply chains and ensure there are more ethically certified food items on their shelves,” said Julie Francoeur, executive director at Fairtrade Canada.

The Canadian Press

Groceries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend that concerned Avalanche Canada contributed to Kaslo fatality

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Third-grader Hudson Adrian (left) on Wednesday, Feb. 24, poses with fourth-graders Josh Hlookoff (centre) and Jaylen Dekteroff at Hutton Elementary’s Pink Shirt Day parade. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
WATCH — Grand Forks’ elementaries support Pink Shirt Day

The annual celebration of kindness puts paid to the idea that bullying was ever cool

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

Most Read