Morocco is the top non-European supplier of tomatoes to Europe. Around 90% of Moroccan tomatoes are sent to Europe, and are mainly sold in European supermarkets, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Albert Heijn, from October to April.
Most of these tomatoes are grown in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region, one of the poorest regions in Morocco. The agricultural sector is one of the most important work providers in the region and employs 70,000 workers, who are mainly women. These workers – who pick and pack hundreds of thousands of tons of tomatoes every year – perform their jobs under very poor labour conditions, earning only poverty wages. (Read our report on the Moroccan tomato industry.)
This is far from enough to buy sufficient groceries and medication, or to provide education for their children, condemning the Moroccan tomato workers to a life of poverty with no opportunities to escape the poverty cycle.