Brazil orange juice makers fined for labor violations

A Brazilian judge has ordered four major orange juice producers to pay $227 million in compensation for a decade of illegal labor practices and ordered them to end outsourcing of orange picking.

Sao Paulo state labor authorities said Tuesday that the March 13 ruling enjoins Sucocitrico Cutrale Ltda., Louis Dreyfus Commodities Agroindustrial S/A, Citrovita Agroindustrial Ltda and Fischer S/A to formally register more than 200,000 orange pickers.

The companies can appeal the ruling to a higher regional court.

Brazil, the world's leading orange juice exporter, currently exports around 1.2 million tons of concentrated juice a year, with 70 percent going to Europe and 15 percent to the United States.