Low Prices… always screw the little guy…
Via Regeneraction (27 February 2017)… my translation:
Currently, indigenous communities in the northern highlands of Puebla are struggling to prevent Walmart from installing a store in their territory. According to them, and others, the commercial chain owned by Christy Walton, one of the richest women in the world, violates agricultural, tax, and labor laws.
This corporation, they say claims to be a supplier of local perishables, in order to take avoid taxes on some food products, and to evade sanitary norms including rules on produce packaging .
Walmart’s promise of “low prices always” for consumers, is achieved though reduced production costs… met by illegal admistrative practices and violation of labor, plant safety and tax regulations.
“Walmart strangles producers with their prices,” said Andres Enrique Rochín Cota, a grower and social worker. “It’s a company that does not have any social responsibility,” which mocks rural producers when they demand something from them, forcing them to negotiate with their offices In Panama. It also uses irregular criteria to define quality controls outside Mexican official standards, and delays payments.
The treatment that the producers receive is inhuman, when they receive 6 pesos for each kilo of for example, chile serrano, and Walmart in turn sells it in 30 pesos.
Complaints about these noxious practices have already appeared in several states including Puebla, Sinaloa, Sonora, Michoacán, and Baja California Sur. Cota complained that Walmart is also engaging in unfair practicing paying too little for produce, and commericializing them, making millions of dollars in profits.
Walmart’s irregular business practices have also by denounced by Romeo Barajas, one of the most important vegetable producers in Michoacán, who turned down any deals with the company because it would have forced him to violate sanitary laws. He said that “Walmart intended that the vegetables harvested in Yurécuaro, Michoacán, would only undergo a ten second bth in ice and water tubs, when the official norm calls for produce to be done in boxes in a cold room for at least ten minutes.” “
Walmart also wanted Romero Barajas to hire minors and subcontract day laborors to evade any labor respnsibility for them. They also suggested both ignoring the also wanted to hire minors and subcontract day laborers to evade job responsibilities with them. They suggested ignoring the standard for processing vegetables and made it compulsory to pack in boxes sold by Walmart.
The Federal Government’s abandonment of the Mexican countryside has contributed to companies such as Walmart taking advantage of the producers. When campesinos lack guarantee that their products will be sold at fair prices, they are forced to sell their production to companies like Walmart, which sets the prices.
Walmart has recommended to its suppliers that shipments sent to the company are invoiced as “produce”, without defining what type of merchandise is sold, in order to evade the IVA (value added tax).
It also recommends not registering day laborers with IMSS (Mexican Social Security) tin order to bypass the employer quoto on health insurance, the 3% payrolll tax and various income tax payments.
According to the “ Cuenta Pública 2015 de la Auditoría Superior de la Federación” (2015 Federal Budget Audit), the >Peña Nieto administration had allocated more than 1.3 billion pesos to agribusiness, while small and medium producers survive on an average income of less than 17 thousand pesos.