// Tesco delists Chinese supplier after accusations of forced prison labour
// South London schoolgirl Florence Widdicombe found a note after an inmate smuggled out an anonymous message
// The note urged the finder to contact Peter Humphrey, a British journalist & former fraud investigator who was imprisoned at the same prison
Tesco has delisted a Chinese supplier following accusations of forced prison labour in manufacturing Christmas cards.
The cards were produced at Zhejiang Yuanguang Printing, about 60 miles from the prison where an inmate smuggled out an anonymous message – found by a South London schoolgirl, Florence Widdicombe, The Sunday Times reported.
“We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisation,” the handwritten note said.
The note had urged the finder to contact Peter Humphrey, a British journalist and former fraud investigator who was imprisoned at the same Qingpu prison.
Tesco immediately suspended the Chinese factory producing the cards and launched an investigation into the allegations.
It did not find any evidence of forced prison labour, but discovered inconsistencies such as poor record-keeping, and had therefore decided not use the supplier again, The Grocer reported.
Tesco said it was “shocked” by the allegations and had decided to suspend production at the factory that produced the cards, and withdraw the cards from sale.
The supermarket chain said in December that it ”abhored” the use of prison labour and had a “comprehensive auditing system in place” for its suppliers in China.