Almost all of Greece’s strawberry production takes place in northwestern Peloponnese, in the plains of eastern Ilia, where the fields extend over 15,000 stremmata (approx. 3,750 acres).
During the harvest season, up to 10,000 land workers, mainly from Bangladesh and Pakistan, live in the wider area called Manolada, which includes the villages of Nea Manolada, Manolada, Neo Vouprasio, Lappa, and Varda.
For at least 15 years, next to the greenhouses filled with strawberry crops, makeshift camps have sprung up, consisting of shacks made of reeds and plastic. Thousands of workers are housed in these camps − people who live and work in horrible conditions reminiscent of exploitation.
In recent years, Solomon has been closely monitoring the reality of this “invisible” migrant community, which numbers in the thousands. It’s a community that supports the rapid growth and revenue of Greece’s “red gold” − an industry that generates tens of millions of euros in exports, and an industry that has also led Greece to face conviction in international courts.