UK

Middleton Family Business 'Party Pieces' Selling Products Made By Mexican Families 'Earning 10p An Hour'

23/02/2013 11:31 GMT

The mult-million business of the family of Kate Middleton could face close scrutiny after it was revealed that the company purchase products made by families in Mexico earning a meagre 10p per hour.

An investigation by the Daily Mail has found families in Tijuana, Mexico who work all day making products such as themed pinatas, which then go on to be sold by the Middletons' family business, Party Pieces.

The newspaper claims that one family, the Villegases, work "ten hours a day, seven days a week" making a certain number of pinatas when are then sold on to companies such as the Middletons'.

Party Pieces, which is estimated to be worth some £30million, sells more than 40 types of pinata at a cost of close to £13, but cost a tiny fraction to produce.

middletons

The company was started by Carole Middleton and her husband Michael

According to the Mail: "To meet her target, Monica invariably works ten hours a day, seven days a week — and even then she needs the help of her 18-year-old son, Jonathan, and little Stephanie, who assists her after nursery school by sticking on the bar-codes and labels."

Monica Villegas told the paper that she took the work as there was little else available, and something was better was nothing to maintain her family.

The company was set up by Kate Middleton's mother, Carole, after leaving her career as an air hostess. It now boasts over 30 employees, including their daughter Pippa.

A company spokesperson said that Party Pieces took the investigation "very seriously and we will work with our suppliers to carry out investigations into these claims".