A US retail company that operates supermarkets across the country. It sells products that are produced using prison labor.
The Kroger Co., headquartered in Cincinnati, is the fourth-largest retail company in the U.S. Kroger operates 2,719 supermarkets in 35 states and Washington, D.C., under a variety of names, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, and Ralphs. It also owns popular meal delivery company Home Chef. In 2023, Kroger employed nearly 430,000 people and generated $148.2 billion in revenue.
Kroger sells eggs produced by Hickman's Family Farms, a private, Arizona-based egg company that has used prison labor for decades. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some 140 individuals incarcerated in Arizona were moved from their prison to a Hickman's warehouse, where they worked for less than $3 an hour for 14 months. Hickman's has faced numerous lawsuits alleging that unsafe working conditions at its production facilities have led to incarcerated workers sustaining serious injuries.
A 2022 Kroger Vendor Code of Conduct document states that the company's vendors must ensure that no forced labor, including prison labor, is supported in the production of their products.