Over the last three decades there has been a rapid expansion of intensive production of fresh fruit and vegetables in the Mediterranean regions of south and west Europe. Much of this depends on migrating workers for seasonal labour, including from Eastern Europe, North Africa and Latin America. This book is the first to address global agro-migration complexes across the region. 

It is argued that both intensive agricultural production and related working conditions are highly dynamic. Regional patterns have developed from small-scale family farming to become an industrialized part of the global agri-food system, which increasingly depends on seasonal labour. Simultaneously, consumer demand for year-round supply has caused relocations of the industry within Europe; areas of intensive greenhouse production have moved further south and even into North Africa. The authors investigate this Mediterranean agri-food system that transcends borders and is largely constituted by invisible seasonal work. By revealing the story of food commodities loaded with implications of private profit seeking, exploitation, exclusion and multiple insecurities, the book unmasks the hidden costs of fresh food provisioning. 

Three case study areas are considered in detail: the French region of Provence, a traditional centre of fresh fruit and vegetable cultivation; the Spanish Almería region where intensive production has, accelerated dramatically since the 1970s; and Morocco where counter-seasonal production has recently been expanding. The book also includes commentaries that refer to complemetary insights on US-Mexico, Philippines-Canada and South Pacific mobilities.

part I|22 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

B/ordering the Mediterranean

Free trade, fresh fruits and fluid fixity

part II|66 pages


chapter 3|12 pages

Shared insecurities?

Farmers and workers in Bouches-du-Rhône

chapter 4|12 pages


Beyond buyer-drivenness in southern France

chapter 5|10 pages

Fruit production in France and Argentina

Globalizing standards and labour markets

chapter 7|12 pages


Self-censored social identities of farm workers in southern France

chapter |6 pages


Neoliberal market mystifications in the social costs of eating fresh — Philippines—Canada comparisons

part III|64 pages


chapter 8|9 pages

The political economy of El Ejido

Genealogy of the 2000 conflict

chapter 9|9 pages

The industrial agriculture

A ‘model for modernization' from Almería?

chapter 10|9 pages

Mobility partnerships and circular migration

Managing seasonal migration to Spain

chapter 11|11 pages

‘Origin matters'

Working conditions of Moroccans and Romanians in the greenhouses of Almería

chapter 12|17 pages

‘We don't have women in boxes'

Channelling seasonal mobility of female farmworkers between Morocco and Andalusia

chapter |7 pages


From fresh produce to poultry — shifting labour regimes in the global agri-food system

part IV|72 pages


chapter 14|11 pages

Facilitating the export of fruit and vegetables

The role of state institutions in Morocco

chapter 15|13 pages

Disrupted livelihoods?

Intensive agriculture and labour markets in the Moroccan Souss

chapter 17|11 pages

Between hope and disillusionment

The migration of nomadic pastoralists to Europe

chapter 18|10 pages

Border makers

Clandestine migration from Morocco

chapter |5 pages


New migration and new communities: social changes born from agricultural changes

part V|16 pages


chapter 19|7 pages

Comparative perspective

Insights from New Zealand's recognised seasonal employer scheme

chapter 20|7 pages


The social costs of eating fresh