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FOODBEAST Packaged Food

Documentary Shows Footage Of Horrifying Conditions For Haribo Workers And Pigs


Photo courtesy of ARD film, Markencheck

Haribo, a German confectionary company known for its gummy candy, has found itself in a sticky situation after a documentary claims that the workers and animals used to make the candy were kept in appalling conditions.

According to Deutsche Welle, or DW, German broadcaster ARD aired the film Markencheck, or “brand check,” to identify the health and production problems revolving around the company’s gummy candies that are sold worldwide. The documentary claims that the two ingredients causing the workers and pigs to suffer in such shocking conditions are carnauba wax and gelatin.

Caranauba wax, an ingredient that comes from carnauba palm trees, is applied to the gummies to prevent sticking and to keep them glossy. The carnauba palm trees grow only in the poorest regions of the northeastern states of Brazil including Piaui, Ceara, Maranhao, Bahia, and Rio Grande do Norte. The documentary claims that Haribo sourced their carnauba wax from plantations where workers earn about $12 a day. These workers, some of whom are underage, are also allegedly forced to sleep outside or in their trucks, made to drink unfiltered water from nearby rivers, and not given access to toilets. Brazilian police would allegedly have to carry out raids to free the workers from the horrible working conditions on the plantations.

In that same documentary, footage of the disgusting living conditions of the pigs that provide gelatin for Gelita, Haribo’s main gelatin supplier, was aired. Numerous pigs are shown living in their own filth, covered with stool and urine, and suffering from open sores and infections. Veterinarians interviewed in the film claim that these living conditions clearly go against Germany’s animal protection laws.

In response to the film, Haribo made an official statement saying that they were not aware of of the violations to their guidelines and that they would proactively work with their suppliers to pursue the issue.

In an article by Metro.co.uk, a spokesperson from Haribo told them, “We are aware of the serious allegations that have been made and an urgent investigation is underway to help us establish the facts. Our production processes are of the utmost importance and we ask all suppliers to adhere to the strictest social and ethical standards. We have always believed such standards to be indivisible and non-negotiable.”

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Packaged Food Sweets

Americans Rejoice, Haribo Is Opening A Factory In The US

Anyone in the United States with a sweet tooth will have to brush just a little bit harder now that Haribo is opening a factory in the US.

The German candy maker, best known for producing iconic fruit-flavored gummy bears, announced that plans to build their first production facility in the United States. While there has been a sales office located in Maryland since 1982, this new factory will give the candy product the rights to boast that they’re Made in the US on their packaging.

According to Fortune, local production on the factory is set to begin in 2020. “America’s Dairyland,” also known as the state of Wisconsin, will host the new facility.

As we patiently wait for the factory to arrive, the sky will fill with the deafening screams of gummy bears between our molars. Hey, they’re addicting.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Did A Nazi Billionaire Create the Gummy Bear?

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In 2013, the candy world mourned the death of Hans Riegel Jr., a scion of the German-born entrepreneurial family behind the ubiquitously edible Haribo Gummi Bears. En route to a multi-billion dollar fortune, the Riegels made these munchies the most delicious, yet problematic, snacks in the game. 

German candy kaiser Hans Riegel Sr. of Bonn, Germany founded Haribo (an acronym for Hans Riegel, Bonn) in 1920. A trained confectioner, he started his own really small business. Riegel invented the gummy bear in 1922—inspired by dancing circus bears—and soon the candy became popular with the likes of Alfred Einstein and an exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter monarch dubbed them “the best thing to come out of the Weimar Republic,” the democratic German government formed in his home country after he was exiled.

fktvtqsuglhe2rwwzumxJustin Bieber and his Haribo gummies. (Coolspotters)

During World War II, though, the Riegels became a bit suspect. Their business suffered, Riegel Sr.’s sons were prisoners of war, and employees were few and far between. But when the German government rallied many prominent businesses to compensate the hundreds of thousands forced into labor during the war, but Haribo didn’t join in the effort. As a result, it’s been speculated the Riegels used forced labor to keep the business afloat. Time reported in 2000, “Haribo, makers of the jelly bear candy sold around the world, was named in the German parliament as having used forced labor, a charge it denies.”

After Riegel Sr. died in 1945, his two sons built the company up to unprecedented heights. Since the 1980s, they’ve dominated Americans’ sweet teeth, boasting fans worldwide. Despite its success, though, in recent years, Haribo also sold racist candy.

Written by Carly Silver, HistoryBuff