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Food Companies Deny Slavery Claims

Finnish food processing companies Riitan Herkku and Lapin Liha strongly deny slavery claims concerning berry pickers from Thailand. On Wednesday, the YLE current affairs programme A-studio reported that the companies have supported the modern-day slave trade.

Jan Eric-Gustafsson, the chair of Riitan Herkku, said Thai berry pickers come to Finland on their own free will. He added that for the most part, they earn a decent income.

Meanwhile Jukka Kristo of Lapin Liha said berry pickers are warned during the hiring process that crop sizes can't be predicted beforehand. He said that the berry harvest was modest this year. Still, many workers have been able to earn thousands of euros.

Riita Herkku said it intends to file a complaint concerning Wednesday's programme with the Council for Mass Media in Finland. The company is also looking into the possibility of taking legal action against the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE.


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