Revealed: Indonesian workers on UK farm ‘at risk of debt bondage’

As farms look further afield for labour, investigation finds Kent pickers saying they struggle to pay fees charged by unlicensed brokers

Indonesian labourers picking berries on a farm that supplies Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco say they have been saddled with debts of up to £5,000 by unlicensed foreign brokers to work in Britain for a single season.

Pickers at the farm in Kent were initially given zero-hours contracts, and at least one was paid less than £300 a week after the cost of using a caravan was deducted, according to payslips and other documents seen as part of a Guardian investigation.

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