The Uighur Crisis

On Friday the CBC (Canadian media network) released the results of their investigation into tomato products (sauce, paste, etc), which implied or found that a number of large brands were using tomatoes grown by “Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities under oppressive working conditions in China”. Some say that they do it, but only for countries other than the US and Canada, some say they don’t, others say ‘but we have a paper that says the labour conditions are fine’.

I had known but not really registered before that as a consumer it is basically impossible to know where the ingredients of processed foods come from, because they just slap on a region from where processing happened.

Global supply chains.


Here we have a system where products have a “% Australian made” and information on whether it was grown, manufactured or just packaged in Australia. Is there anything equivalent in Canada?


not that I’ve seen. And we’re used to things not being made here, but the assumption is that tomato things being labeled Product of Italy would have tomatoes actually grown in Italy. And they aren’t.

Or maybe it doesn’t really matter to have the labels because I’m unusual in that I care. I am feeling very misaligned from the rest of the world that I care about such things.


I don’t think you’re unusual. I base more of my purchase habits on that little “% Australian made” and transparency on source of materials and labour than I do cost.


I watched this last night and was surprised/ not surprised. It’s not so much the prepared products (in cans etc) that I use but mostly the fresh produce and where it came from. Whenever I see strawberries I always question the ethics behind them coming from California and the migrant workers that grew and picked them.

With the vast amount of everything we need (food, clothing, any product) it’s not surprising that this is happening for corporations to be profitable. But I agree, not many people think about where/what/how their items were made and where they came from.


I haven’t watched, but I do keep an eye on where things are from. It doesn’t inform every decision, but it’s a factor. And yeah, some labels say product of x from domestic and imported and some just say product of x. If the product of x is only processing… How do we decide