News briefs: Fairtrade, Salmonella and Ruza Russia

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Confectionery, Slavery, Salmonella

An Archbishop calls for consumers to buy Fairtrade chocolate, Fox
discovers Salmonella at a plant and Russian factory Ruza is
rumoured to be for sale.

Archbishop condemns non-fairtrade chocolate ​The UK Archbishop of York yesterday called for a boycott of non-fairtrade chocolate because of the cocoa industry's links with child labour, according to the Times newspaper. Archbishop John Sentamu, the second highest ranking cleric in the Church of England, said UK customers should use their consumer power to buy Fairtrade chocolate and help end child slavery in third world countries. "If you can't find it in your favourite shop, ask to see the manager and say that you will only buy goods which are not produced by slave labour,"​ he said. "Say you want to trade fairly. If you keep that promise, you could be playing your part in ending a 21st​-century iniquity." ​According to the recently released Pilot Labour Survey in Cocoa Production in Ghana, one of the world's biggest cocoa producers, 2.47 million children aged between 5 and 7 years are engaged in economic activites. The report identified several hazards that present a significant risk to working children. Those in the 5-12 age group were particularly vulnerable to exposures to pesticides, farming related injuries, and injuries caused by carrying and walking long distances with heavy loads. Fox plant shut over salmonella ​UK confectionery Fox last week announced a shut-down of operations at its Leicester plant, after discovering salmonella contamination during routine testing. Spokesman Tim Roberts said that the salmonella pathogens were found in a batch of contaminated Brazil nuts at the factory 15 October. Symptoms of food-borne illness caused by salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps, and in some cases the pathogen is fatal. However, Roberts said that the company, which makes products such as Fox's Glacier mints, Paynes Poppets and XXX Mints, had not released any contaminated products on to the market. "We want to reassure all of our customers once again that no affected product whatsoever was released and that stocks on retailers' shelves are completely safe,"​ said chief executive Mario Giannatta. Russian confectioner sale rumoured ​Local Russian news articles are reporting that confectionery giants Nestle, Kraft and Fazer are all interested in acquiring Russian candy maker Ruza, according to Flexnews.​ All three companies have moved some operations to the Eastern Europe region in recent years, as lower wages and production costs make the area very profitable for food companies. Ruza Confectionery Factory (RKF) is currently valued at $240m, and reported an annual turnover of $64m in 2006. According to Flexnews, the company sells a range of chocolate products across Russia, and started exporting outside the country in 2005. The company refused to confirm whether the rumours were true, saying "Ruza Confectionery Factory has no comments and official returns."

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