27 May 2014

Fiji sugar exports under fresh pressure

1:50 pm on 27 May 2014

The International Trades Union Congress is pressing for fair trade sugar in Fiji to be stripped of its label.

The congress which has just met in Brussels has placed Fiji among the world's worst countries for workers on its Global Rights Index.

The Congress' general secretary Sharan Burrow says the ITUC will also continue to press the International Labour Organisation for a Commission of Inquiry into the situation for workers in Fiji.

Ms Burrow says the ITUC will urge the international fairtrade organisation to stand firm on principles it espouses.

"You can't pretend that products coming out of Fiji are actually produced in any kind of fair trade environment when you have workers' rights violated to the extent that they are in Fiji."

Ms Burrow says the ITUC does not believe there will be free and fair elections in Fiji and it is appalled at the inaction of the Australian and New Zealand governments over the issue.

Fairtrade International works with about 13,000 sugar cane farmers in Fiji.