Uyghur Genocide: Meghan Markle coffee firm Clevr Blends implicated in Xinjiang trade

Xinjiang Haiyan International Trade, based in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang has been supplying Clevr Blends with oat milk.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has pinpointed more than 20 suspected detention centres in the city, including four only a short drive from Xinjiang Haiyan's office on Pudong Street in the city's Xinshi district.

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The suitably trendy and headline grabbing - thanks to investment by Markle, and a plug from Oprah Winfrey - Santa Barbara based and female-founded business "is already getting the thumbs up from some of Meghan's A-list pals".

Oprah had reportedly received a package of Clevr Brands products from a neighbour, and took to social media to give them a plug, coincidentally just hours before Markle's announced her investment in the company. The timing ensuring that there could be no possible suggestions of "insider trading."

Whilst Clevr Brands has said it no longer does business with Xinjiang Haiyan, US import records provided by data firms Panjiva and Import Genius show a delivery of 8.8 tons arriving as recently as February 28th.

This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritises building community alongside her business. I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love, and has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her, and I believe in her company.

Megan Markle

Ethical, Duchess?

At the time of writing, as many as one million Uyghurs are believed to be detained in mass detention camps, known as “re-education” centres, such as the one reported to be close to Xinjiang Haiyan's Urumqi head office.

Here, as well as being subjected to Communist indoctrination they undergo forced labour, often for the benefit of companies owned and controlled by senior party officials. These are the same party officials who, according to Belgian MEP Assita Kanko, Vice Chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists, and author of the book Voyage au pays des Ouïghours, "travel for shopping trips to Harrods and Galeries Lafayette," and send their offspring to "Oxford and the Sorbonne."

There is no evidence proving that Xinjiang Haiyan has used forced labour, but there never will be.

However, more enlightened - and ethical - companies such as Burberry, H&M and Marks & Spencer have already refused to source cotton, a particularly labour intensive crop, from Xinjiang.

China's actions in Xinjiang are resulting in calls to governments around the world to recognise the persecutions as Genocide.

The Netherlands recently became the first EU member state to take the action.

Former UK Conservative party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has been leading a call for Chinese officials and companies implicated in the camps tone subject to "Magnitsky style" sanctions.

Because Xinjiang is heavily involved in what I call genocide and slave labour, then any business done with that region runs the risk of that being involved with slave labour. So any company that is doing business there shouldn't do business in Xinjiang.

Rt. Hon. Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

Beijing has responded to Sir Iain's calls by imposing sanctions on him.

Uyghur women undergo forced contraception, sterilisation, and abortion. Birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar fell by more than 60% from 2015 to 2018, according to official government statistics.

Across the Xinjiang region, birth rates continue to plummet, falling nearly 24% last year alone — compared to just 4.2% nationwide, statistics show.

At the same time China’s Han majority is being encouraged to have more children.

BBC News report (Feb 3rd, 2021) on the abuse of women in Xinjiang "detention" camps.

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Main image: By Office of the Governor-General -, CC BY 4.0,

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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