“It is our hope that today's farmworker movement will serve as one of many points on the horizon that inspires young people to believe in the possibility of a better world – a world where we all have space to realize our dreams."
- Gerardo Reyes Chávez, CIW


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We Won!

Background - From our college and university dining halls to the sweltering fields of Florida, multinational food service provider corporations such as Sodexo — which holds lucrative contracts with our schools to deliver and serve the food we eat every day — must take responsibility for the daily degredation endured by farmworkers in its supply chains.

As tuition-paying students and members of the campus community, as the captive consumers of the food service industry and an increasingly corporatized system of higher education, and as young people responsible for constructing a more just society, we deserve a voice in campus food procurement and food service decisions and policies. We demand real change and real responsibility from the food service industry and from our universities.

In solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, SFA has launched a national “Dine with Dignity” campaign, and students across the country are taking action to demand that Sodexo work with the CIW to help put an end, once and for all, to Florida's harvest of shame.

Click here to continue reading the Dine with Dignity campaign background.

August 23, 2010
It's a wrap! CIW, Sodexo reach agreement to improve farmworker wages, working conditions!
Students celebrate resounding success of "Dine with Dignity" campaign; call on supermarket industry to follow suit.

With this victory, the Student/Farmworker Alliance's Dine with Dignity campaign — launched just 16 months ago with the goal of organizing student power to demand the immense college and university food service industry support principles of Fair Food — has come to a successful conclusion. Just as in the monumental Boot the Bell campaign, student organizing on campuses across the country proved decisive in bringing some of the world's largest food corporations to the table. See the CIW/Sodexo statement here.

April 2010
Aramark, Bon Appetit, and Compass have agreed to work with the CIW;
It's time for Sodexo to wake up and step up!

April 1, 2010
CIW, Aramark sign agreement to improve wages, working conditions for tomato pickers!

Student and youth organizing critical in achieving yet another milestone in the Campaign for Fair Food, which now surges forward with all eyes on Sodexo, Publix...

April 1, 2010 - Responding to an escalating campaign waged by students on campuses across the country, Aramark has agreed to work with the CIW to directly improve farmworker wages and working conditions. The agreement — establishing a supplier code of conduct developed and implemented with farmworker participation — comes in the wake of several successful campus campaigns resulting in Student Senate resolutions calling on Aramark to work with the CIW.

With news of the third major food service provider and eighth major food corporation overall agreeing to work with the CIW, Sodexo doesn't have a leg to stand on. It's time for Sodexo to wake up and catch up.

February 9, 2010
Aramark has no clothes...

The game's up. As was done to the Emperor in the classic cautionary tale, it's time SFA called out Aramark. In recent months, company executives and local campus representatives have responded to the Dine with Dignity campaign by parroting a copied-and-pasted, misleading statement from corporate headquarters, echoed to students at dozens of campuses.

  • Click here for SFA's exclusive point-by-point response to Aramark

The statement includes claims that Aramark "has been working with the [CIW] for some time." Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth. Now that Aramark's carefully-crafted garment has been shown to have no substance, what does the future hold? One thing's for sure: As the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Dine with Dignity campaign approaches, students are ready to escalate efforts to bring Aramark to the table.

As a result of its recent actions, Aramark now stands at a crossroads. It can continue down its current path, provoking protracted conflict and damage to its fragile brand image. Or it can work directly with the CIW, demonstrating real social responsibility and leadership in the effort to end Florida's "harvest of shame" — as Aramark competitors Bon Appetit and Compass are doing.

December 8, 2009
Meanwhile, from the Aramark campaign...

Many of us who participated in the Aramark call-in days of action a couple weeks ago were met by a recorded greeting from company executives that went something like this:

...please be assured that we share your concern and are currently working directly with the CIW to address their needs... Aramark has independently agreed to pay the penny per pound... we're working with the CIW and our distribution partners to identify effective methods for these funds to be distributed directly to the workers...

That all sounds wonderful, and we certainly welcome good-faith efforts on the part of Aramark to reach a mutually beneficial resolution to this campaign and to the endemic exploitation and abuse faced by farmworkers. But the Dine with Dignity campaign focusing on Aramark and Sodexo is far from over.

Click here for a reflection on how far we've come in the Dine with Dignity campaign... and where we need to go from here.

November 23, 2009
This harvest season, take action for fair food!

This November 23rd and 24th, do your part ot help bring Aramark to the table by participating in SFA's national call-in days of action! Aramark's response to the Dine with Dignity campaign has been wholly unsatisfactory, including the outright refusal by some university representatives to meet with concerned students. It's now time to demand accountability and amplify our demand for human rights and fair wages in Aramark's supply chain.

Call Aramark headquarters today! More Information and sample script can be found here.

October 26, 2009
100+ students and farmworkers march at the University of Florida to demand action from Aramark!

This past Saturday, farmworkers from Immokalee visiting Gainesville as part of the CIW's "Month of Publix Actions" took a detour to unite with students at the University of Florida to give UF's food service provider a piece of their minds!

In a rousing and powerful campus action that brought back memories of the Boot the Bell campaign, workers and students marched across campus, taking their message from the Plaza of the Americas to the Reitz Student Union to the Gator Dining Center, where their demands for justice for farmworkers were heard loud and clear.

The action comes at a pivotal point in the UF's Dine with Dignity campaign, as the student senate is set to vote this upcoming Tuesday on a resolution calling on Aramark to enter into an agreement with the CIW.

To see photos from the action (including some great Aramark art), click here.

And while you're at it, check out these great articles from UF's student newpaper:

October 14 , 2009
Student call on Aramark and Sodexo to end the harvest of shame during 2009 Dine with Dignity week of action!

This past October 5-9, with actions that ranged from classroom presentations to rallies to radio interviews, students on campuses across the country demanded to "dine with dignity" during a week of action demanding that Aramark and Sodexo enter into an agreement with the CIW to guarantee once and for all that the tomatoes being served in the nation's dining halls aren't being harvested by exploited workers.

For a photo report, click here, and stay tuned for more updates from SFA's Fall semester of action!

September 25, 2009
CIW, Compass and East Coast forge partnership to bring "sweeping changes" for farmworkers!

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., the CIW, food service provider Compass (parent company of Chartwells) and major tomato grower East Coast announced an agreement that may signal, in the words of US Senator Bernie Sanders, "the beginning of the end of the harvest of shame that has existed for far too long in Florida's tomato fields." (Compass representatives credited a student-led delegation to their headquarters in Spring 2009 with opening the door to dialogue with the CIW.)

Click here for more information on the Compass agreement!

April 29, 2009
Dine with Dignity Campaign celebrates first victory as Bon Appétit agrees to work with the CIW!

The month-old "Dine with Dignity" campaign notches its first victory today as food service provider Bon Appétit has come together with the CIW to establish an "innovative new model for fair labor standards in Florida's tomato fields!"

Click here for more information on the Bon Appétit agreement!

March 26, 2009
Students launch "Dine with Dignity" campaign!

Following in the footsteps of the groundbreaking "Boot the Bell" campaign and our struggles since (check out the sidebar to the left to learn more), the Student/Farmworker Alliance is launching a national "Dine with Dignity" campaign to hold food service industry leaders Aramark and Sodexo accountable for the exploitation of farmworkers in their tomato supply chains. (Click here for the campaign launch press release.)

Food service giants such as Aramark and Sodexo, holding hundreds of contracts with our high schools, colleges and universities, perpetuate farmworker poverty through high-volume, low cost produce purchasing practices. (For more extensive discussion of the link between the corporate food industry and farmworker exploitation, check out our Campaign Analysis and Dine with Dignity background.)

While farmworkers toil in poverty and endure human rights abuses, students — whose tuition fattens these corporations' coffers — have little to no say in where the food on our campuses comes from, under what conditions it is produced, or in the procurement policies of our universities and the corporations they contract with. Get involved today in the Dine with Dignity movement to demand fair food on your campus!


PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 :: (239) 657-8311 :: organize (at) sfalliance.org