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The True Cost of Kiwis

I coordinated the Journalismfund Europe-funded investigation into kiwifruit production in Agro Pontino between April 2021 and April 2022 in collaboration with IrpiMedia, Danwatch, and The Wire. We worked together on the project with Francesca Cicculli, Charlotte Aagaard, and Kusum Arora.

We’ve been researching The Green Gold of Italy or Kiwi Revolution as it’s known locally. In the past few years, the Lazio region has become one of the world’s largest producers of kiwis. Glitter does not always mean gold, however. The kiwi business in Lazio is bittersweet for thousands of farm workers trafficked from Punjab in India.

By following the entire supply chain of workers and Kiwis, from Punjabi villages in India to Italian fields and European consumers, we have discovered an industry based on cheap labor.

Over 50 interviews were conducted with families and traffickers in Punjab, with workers, farmers, and authorities in Lazio, with experts, organizations, and companies that make their profits producing and exporting Green Gold.

The photos below were published by Internazionale, Il manifesto, Al Jazeera, El País, IrpiMedia, Danwatch, The Wire, Taz, and VoxEurope.