Families in this, one of the poorest of the EU countries are being paid as little as 20p an hour for making the toys at home.
Child exploitation is not new in Romania. It is probably as famous for sending gangs of child pickpockets to the UK as it is for being the home of Vlad the Impaler.
Apart from the child exploitation experts say there is also a risk of food poisoning if the toys have been assembled in unsanitary conditions.
A whistleblower said “Customers would expect products which go inside children’s chocolates to be made in controlled conditions but so many of the toys are being made in peoples homes that effective quality control is impossible”.
“Ferrero (the Italian chocolatier that makes the eggs) may not be getting what they pay for and middle men somewhere must be making a killing off the back of people being treated like slaves“. What, corruption in the EU?
The eggs and toy parts are supplied by Romexa SA a Ferrero contractor. The Sun’s investigation revealed that Romexa’s boss Daniel Muran is a millionaire living in a fabulous mansion. He said “this is the first I have heard of it but I will find out who is responsible and the factories involved will have their contracts terminated if this is found to be true”. He is currently under investigation by the Romanian authorities
Ferrero said it banned the use of children in factories and that its suppliers had passed a strict audit inspection this year. “All our suppliers are subject to regular independent checks to ensure that they observe the terms of our strict code of conduct. We will investigate these new allegations fully in order to ensure that our code of conduct is being strictly observed“.
Well there are strict inspections and corrupt EU inspections I guess. Also they seem to be missing the point that these toys are being assembled by homeworkers rather than in factories and so are unlikely to be inspected.
One family of five, including children of six years of age, who were all involved in making the toys told the newspaper that they were paid the equivalent of just under £4 for every 1,000 completed eggs they delivered to a factory in Carei, near the border with Hungary.
The father felt they had no choice despite the terrible pay as they needed money to feed the children. He complained about their living conditions and used it as a reason for their dream to come to the UK. Perhaps if their country wasn’t so corrupt – it is he fourth most corrupt country in the EU after Bulgaria and Italy, and equal with Greece – people might have a fairer chance of earning a decent living.
These eggs are illegal in the US with huge fines for smuggling them in.
Supply chain integrity is an absolute necessity in this day and age. I suggest we boycott these eggs here and also any other products made by Ferrero until they sort this problem out.