Fruit pickers lured to Portugal by the dream of a ‘raspberry passport’

Farm workers from south Asia describe exploitative conditions at the heart of Europe’s soft fruits industryWorkers paid less than minimum wage to pick berries destined for UK supermarketsThree days after Sagar* arrived as a worker in Portugal from Nepal, he began to worry he had made a terrible mistake. “I had expectations to get good work, good money,” he says. “But the reality was different.”The only job Sagar, 21, could find was on one of the country’s berry farms in Odemira, a rural region on the south-west coast. Earning less than the legal minimum wage to work 16-hour days in 40C heat, he knows he is being exploited. But quitting could jeopardise his residency application – and that’s a risk he cannot afford to take. Continue reading...

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