Brazil Labor Ministry investigators have raided the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, in rural Minas Gerais state, and rescued 18 workers who were laboring on coffee plantations in conditions analogous to slavery.
The farm also holds the UTZ seal, a Netherlands-based sustainable farming certificate prized by the coffee industry.
“No slave or forced labor is allowed,” reads one of several signs that display international certifications — including one linked to the U.S.-based company Starbucks corporation.
But investigators have found that laborers on the farm’s coffee plantations were working under degrading conditions and living in substandard housing without sewerage or drinking water.
A Ministry of Labor team inspection conducted at the site rescued 18 rural workers in conditions analogous to slavery.
The certifiers verify commodity supply chains in order to assure ethical purchases, good labor practices, and other criteria required by Starbucks and other retailers.
The Fartura Farm is currently caring for 3 million coffee trees, while also raising so, and cattle; it has 151 employees. »