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Ahold (parent company of Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin's supermarkets) continues to turn a blind eye to exploitation in Florida's fields as over 1,000 postcards delivered to Stop & Shop headquarters!
August 12, 2010 - From Charlottesville to Philadelphia, Boston to the Big Apple, the CIW's Modern-Day Slavery Museum continues its epic Summer 2010 trek through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, exposing the reality of farm labor abuse and human rights violations to thousands of consumers.
Don't miss the great multimedia reports from the road!
Despite months of farmworkers and allies calling on Ahold to do the right thing (including, most recently, a recent action in Ahold's hometown Amsterdam and an attempted delivery of over 1,000 postcards to Stop & Shop headquarters), and despite the fact that Giant was recently found to be selling tomatoes from one of the farms where victims in a recent slavery case were taken to work, Ahold remains silent, refusing to work with the CIW to root out these abuses once and for all as eight other major food corporations have agreed to.
You can take action and call on Ahold (and other supermarket chains such as Kroger and Publix) to do the right thing today! - Download this Manager Letter and drop it off at your local supermarket, organize a picket and flyering action, or check out these action ideas. Contact us for postcards, flyers, and other resources.
Update! July 30, 2010: Thanks to everyone who joined us at the USSF! Click here for info on how you can get involved. Thanks to the artists who played at the benefit and to all the members of the Steering Committee and others who helped make it a success!
June 15, 2010 - In just one week, farmworkers from Immokalee and their allies will join thousands of activists and organizers from across the US in Detroit, Michigan for the US Social Forum — a 5-day space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, and bring renewed insight and inspiration to our movements.
Going to the Social Forum? Don't miss what's sure to be an unforgettable night of celebration, music, and dancing as we come together to support the crucial work of SFA in the Campaign for Fair Food with a Hip-Hop Fandango Benefit — Check out all the details and the outreach flyer here, where you can also see a complete schedule of workshops and discussions organized by or featuring the SFA, CIW and friends. (Click here to help us spread the word on facebook.)
Let us know if you'll be at the Social Forum and are interested in helping with outreach for the SFA benefit show and/or in coming to the SFA meetup at 7pm on Tuesday the 22nd. See you in Detroit!
June ushers in new developments and thoughts of this fall's Encuentro in Immokalee...
June 7, 2010 - Although more than a month has passed since the Farmworker Freedom March, the harvest has moved north, and Immokalee swelters in the summer heat, there's been plenty of action in the Campaign for Fair Food!
Just days after U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis visited Immokalee, news broke that Denver-based sandwich chain Quiznos may be getting serious about working with the CIW to bring about real change for workers in its tomato supply chain. Download the manager letter today and bring it to your local Quiznos with the message that you want Quiznos to follow-through and sign an agreement with the CIW. (Such an agreement would be huge on its own, of course, but also as a friendly reminder to another Denver-based company that it's about time it steps up as well.)
Meanwhile, the CIW will also be meeting this week with Ahold (parent company of the Giant, Martin's and Stop and Shop supermarket chains). If you'd like to keep Ahold honest, you can bring the supermarket manager letter to your local Ahold-owned grocery. (You might remember that earlier this year tomatoes from Six L's and Pacific—the two farms where the victims in the most recent slavery case were taken to work—were found in Giant supermarkets.) To top it all off, the Wendy's/Arby's shareholder meeting was recently visited by Fair Food NYC.
(Sodexo, don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you. We'll be back in the fall...)
And speaking of the fall, one of our most cherished traditions is on the horizon: the SFA Encuentro in Immokalee. We currently find ourselves at a crossroads due to the shifting nature of the Campaign for Fair Food, which has been steadily moving away from the fast-food industry and focusing more on the supermarket industry, where mammoths such as Publix, Kroger, and Wal-Mart preside. Without these major tomato purchasers coming on board, fundamental changes won't be brought to Florida's fields.
We'll be holding a smaller, more focused Encuentro this year, trying to tackle questions around the role and future of SFA in the fair food movement. If you've been involved in SFA over the past year or two and consider this movement to be important to you, hit us up about attending the Encuentro. More info coming soon!
Students and youth turn out in force for unforgettable Farmworker Freedom March and take renewed energy and momentum into ongoing Publix, Sodexo campaigns!
April 22, 2010 - Well over 1,000 farmworkers, Fair Food activists and students from across Florida and the country braved the rain to cap off the three-day Farmworker Freedom March with a massive picket, march, and rally in Lakeland!
Together, students and youth from Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Miami and Broward, southwest Florida, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Colorado, Texas, New York, Washington DC, Publix's own hometown of Lakeland and beyond helped to send a loud and clear message: Until Publix comes to the table and addresses farmworker poverty and abuse in its tomato supply chain, we will not rest, and the campaign will continue to grow!
Don't miss all the amazing photos and video, audio and print coverage of the march at the following links today (not to mention the stunning photo/video montage above by photographer JJ Tiziou):
How long will Sodexo and Publix hold out?
April 5, 2010 - Reaction keeps pouring in from the campus and mainstream press praising the role of students, whose organizing and dedication helped to bring about the eighth victory in the Campaign For Fair Food with the announcement of the CIW-Aramark agreement last week:
Today's editorial in the Ft. Myers News-Press should be a wake-up call to corporations like Sodexo and Publix, who maintain their heads firmly stuck in the sand while a growing clamor for fair wages, human rights, and basic dignity swells around them. As we commemorate the anniversary of the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we ask ourselves, how long will it be until Sodexo and Publix do their part to help end slavery in the fields? Not long...
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...
Join us in Florida for the Aramark victory celebration and student/youth gathering at the Farmworker Freedom March!
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.
Significantly, the agreement comes almost exactly a year to the day since the launch of the Dine with Dignity Campaign, 5 years after the Taco Bell Boycott victory, and just two weeks out from the Farmworker Freedom March on Publix headquarters.
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.
Without a doubt, the Campaign for Fair Food is bearing fruit. Victory by victory, we're carving out a new world of fair wages, human rights, and dignity from the shameful history of exploitation in Florida's fields. And with each new victory, the justifications on the part of corporations like Sodexo and Publix to not work with the CIW ring ever more hollow.
From the University of Florida to Florida Gulf Coast, from Chicago to Houston, students organized countless educational events, held strong actions, and passed resolutions around the Aramark campaign, demanding accountability from our universities and the corporations they do business with.
This agreement should also be read as yet another nail in the coffin of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange's attempts to undermine the principles of the Campaign for Fair Food — principles now embraced by Aramark — and the institutional voice for farmworkers that is being established through the CIW's Fair Food agreements. Aramark becomes the latest corporation to partner with farmworkers to build, in the words of the CIW, "...a system of real accountability, with tangible consequences for growers who fail to protect farmworkers’ basic rights. It is our belief that such accountability, with worker input, will be the foundation for lasting improvements in the industry..."
This victory demonstrates once again the effectiveness and clout of the alliance between Florida's farmworkers and students and youth throughout the U.S. Now we must re-double our efforts as we press for even deeper changes in the food industry, looking toward Sodexo, but also Publix and the fast-approaching Farmworker Freedom March. See you in Tampa!
Farmworker Freedom March
March 17, 2010 - One month from today, hundreds of farmworkers from Immokalee, their families and their allies from across Florida and the rest of the country will be in the midst of an historic, three-day march from Tampa to Publix headquarters in Lakeland.
One month from today, we'll march under the Florida sun, singing, chanting, and proclaiming our vision of a better world for farmworkers and for our communities alike.
One month from today, our hope and faith in the justness of our cause and its inevitable triumph will meet the brazen indifference and contempt that Publix has shown toward the lives of farmworkers.
One month from today, where will you be?
Make plans today to join us at the Farmworker Freedom March!
Today, a movement for Fair Food is creating fairer wages and more humane working conditions in Florida's fields thanks to a historic alliance of farmworkers, consumers, growers, and seven retail food industry leaders such as Yum Brands, McDonald's, Burger King, Whole Foods and Compass Group. While the transition to a more just Florida tomato industry is well underway, much remains to be done to ensure this future.
The supermarket industry has been slow to embrace this rising tide of social responsibility, and Publix — the largest grocery chain in the south and one of the largest private corporations in the US with 2009 sales of $25 billion — has been especially belligerent, continuing to purchase tomatoes from the very farms tainted by the latest slavery prosecution. When asked why, Publix spokesperson Dwaine Stevens told the St. Augustine Record: "the chain does purchase tomatoes from the two farms but pays a fair market price."
Of course, there can be no “fair market price” for slavery, and there will be no end to modern-day slavery until companies like Publix stop turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in their suppliers' fields.
That's why, this April 16-18, farmworkers and their allies will take the movement for farmworker justice to the streets. It's not too late for you to make plans to join us!
By way of inspiration...
The Farmworker Freedom March will be led by the box truck that is currently on tour around the state of Florida as the centerpiece of the Modern-Day Slavery Museum. The truck is a replica of trucks involved in a recent farmworker slavery operation. The Farmworker Freedom March will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this grassroots, visceral and moving exhibit in person.
The 2010 Freedom march follows in the footsteps of powerful actions by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Over the years, every step in every march along the way has brought us closer to a world where farmworkers' human rights are respected. Each step has been a step toward freedom:
Join us this April 16-18: Meet and connect with farmworkers from Immokalee and throughout the state of Florida; Be part of a vibrant, grassroots celebration of resistance and dignity featuring live music, art, and culture; Network and learn from other students and community leaders who are also part of the Campaign for Fair Food; Add your voice to that of thousands of others calling on Publix to come to the table and work with the CIW; ...And be a part of making history.
See you in Lakeland!
March 11, 2010 - This past Tuesday night, by a resounding 21-8 vote following a hotly-contested debate, the Student Senate of Florida Gulf Coast University passed a resolution calling on FGCU campus food service provider Aramark to work with the CIW to improve farmworker wages and working conditions. (See the full text of the resolution here.)
Several Senators who failed to support a similar resolution just weeks ago were undoubtedly swayed by the two-day presence of the Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum on campus (as it continues its six-week statewide tour), and also cited the failure of Aramark representatives — who were invited — to show face at the Senate meeting (not to mention Aramark's recent attempts at corporate spin directed at students).
FGCU — whose Faculty Senate and Residential Housing Association also endorsed the same resolution — joins a wave of campuses across the country making similar strong statements. Just two weeks ago, the University of Houston Student Senate also passed a strongly-worded resolution aimed at Aramark (click here for the UH resolution), and actions will continue to escalate until Aramark — as competitors Bon Appetit and Compass Group have already done — agrees to work with the CIW and implement an enforceable code of conduct that enshrines worker participation and lends zero tolerance to modern-day slavery.
In more exciting news from the campaign, UH also played host this past weekend to a Texas Regional Encuentro. Participants from all corners of the Lone Star State came together for a weekend of strategy, reflection, relationship-building, and two separate actions calling on Aramark and Kroger to work with the CIW. Click here for the exciting photo report from the TX Encuentro!
Speaking of Kroger, the CIW has called for a National Supermarket Week of Action next week (3/14-3/20; similar to one held last fall). Download a manager letter to bring to your local Kroger, Stop & Shop, Giant, or Publix, and contact us for action ideas and resources.
Finally, we'll soon be posting mobilizing and fundraising guides to help you organize your community to join this April's Farmworker Freedom March, and for more information on the impending escalation in the Dine with Dignity campaign... If Aramark and Sodexo won't do the right thing, it's time we stop accepting their presence on our campuses. More details soon...
March 7, 2010 - Modern Slavery Museum, Aramark campaign, Publix & More!:
"The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position or stupid; his ministers do the same. ...they dress him in mime and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects. A child in the crowd calls out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others..." (source)
In response to student concern, Aramark resorts to a hollow copy-and-paste campaign; with Aramark's arguments now debunked, students grow increasingly impatient with the corporation's "slow no" tactics & plan to escalate action in coming months.
February 9, 2010 - 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. The statement has been echoed to students at dozens of campuses from the University of Houston to the University of Florida; from St. Thomas in Miami to John Carroll in Ohio; from Florida Gulf Coast University to Georgetown; from St. Joseph's in Philadelphia to the University of Chicago, among others.
The statement — which is essentially carbon-copied each time we've seen it (in email correspondence from Aramark to students, in internal Aramark documents obtained by students from university administrators, and even when deployed as talking points to the media) — includes claims that Aramark "has been working with the [CIW] for some time." Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth.
What's even more insidious than this obvious public relations stunt and insult to our intelligence is the underlying plan it seems to reflect: Aramark looks to be pursuing a classic "slow no" strategy, attempting to string the CIW along in discussions that lead nowhere while claiming to be working toward a solution.
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. Eventually, Aramark will have to do the right thing. The question is simply how long it will take for them to do so.
"This is the hidden weapon of people who have no power: They have to get other people who have no power to join them, and if enough powerless people join together, then a new power is created, and when that happens, even the most powerful and the most wealthy corporations have to yield."
You can help SFA build a new power as we go toe-to-toe with corporations like Aramark, Sodexo and Publix by becoming a Sustaining Member today!
December 14, 2009 - This past week, the "hidden weapon" described by Zinn was on display as representatives from the CIW and SFA joined Baltimore's United Workers for the first-ever Fair Food Solidarity Tour, organized by the UW to draw the connections between the food industry's exploitation of farmworkers in the fields and of low-wage workers employed in places like Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
In the first of the tour's several actions, over 60 people braved frigid temperatures for an action in front of Aramark's Philadelphia headquarters, sending a powerful message to the company that, even as this semester comes to a close, students on campuses across the U.S. are monitoring its response to the Dine with Dignity campaign, and are prepared to launch a Spring semester of intense organizing and action.
And with that next semester of action in the Dine with Dignity campaign just on the horizon, SFA needs your support now more than ever. This holiday season please consider becoming a sustaining member of SFA, and instead of asking your family and friends for more stuff you really don't need, encourage them to do so too!
Supporters from 6 months to 93 years of age join the CIW for a spirited and moving action, leave Lakeland with a clear message to Publix: "We'll be back!"
With flags reappropriating the ubiquitous Publix "P" to spell "end the Poverty," over 500 farmworkers and allies converged on Lakeland, Florida this past Sunday to demand that Publix end the excuses and work with the CIW to improve wages and working conditions for tomato pickers in its supply chain.
Students from across Florida and the country — from the children of farmworkers in Immokalee to those studying in St. Petersburg, Miami, Gainesville, California, Texas and Wisconsin — were on hand to demonstrate their unwavering support for the Campaign for Fair Food, from the spirited picket that started the day's festivities through the 2-mile-plus march in Lakeland's downtown to the rally that capped off more than 5 hours of action with the sunset as its backdrop. Visit the CIW site for a must-see photo report from the march, and be sure to check out these reports and photo galleries too:
On the heels of the march, Publix has been nominated to receive Jobs with Justice's annual Scrooge of the Year Award! From videotaping workers and their children during peaceful protests to continuing to purchase tomatoes from two farms where those held in last season's brutal slavery operation worked picking tomatoes, Publix has proven that it is well-deserving of a title that would put them in the ranks of the most miserly of misers. Click here to vote for Publix today!
Finally, we end today's update with this thought from the CIW's report from Lakeland:
December 8, 2009 - 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:
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.
Experience tells us that until a true agreement is reached — one that enshrines the participation of workers in the implementation and enforcement of said agreement — all the nice words and declarations in the world (often deployed to shield the company from criticism) just don't add up to much.
It's simple. Aramark needs to agree to work directly with the CIW -- as Compass Group has -- to improve wages and working conditions in the fields. Compass Group has set the standard for social responsibility in the food service provider industry's tomato supply chains and Aramark (and Sodexo) must at least rise to that same standard. If not, students will continue to organize and build awareness on our campuses around Aramark (and Sodexo) and the whispers of replacing Aramark with a more responsible food service provider -- Bon Appetit or Chartwell's, both owned by Compass Group, for example -- will grow into a clamor on campuses across the country.
There's a certain tinge to recent declarations from Aramark that we should be mindful of. There's no better way to encapsulate what we are demanding of Aramark than to turn to the words of Reverend Noelle Damico at the ceremony announcing of the CIW-Compass agreement:
Time — and our continued involvement in this campaign — will tell if Aramark embraces that spirit of mutual respect or continues to defer the just demands of farmworkers and their allies.
Update: December 4, 2009 - Flurry of media calling out Publix over its inaction in the face of farmworker abuse as workers, allies prepare for December 6:
Check out the above links and the media page for all the latest news from campuses and communities across the country (including this report from the just-completed Supermarket Week of Action), and finalize your plans today to join us in Lakeland this Sunday for the CIW's biggest action of the season!
November 23, 2009 -
Take Action! Email Aramark and Sodexo to demand they help put an end to the 'harvest of shame' today!
"There's no question that this is the greatest victory for farmworkers since Cesar Chavez in the 1970s." -Eric Schlosser, author, Fast Food Nation
"The vision that CIW has pursued and is beginning to see come to fruition is an inspiring one, and a model for the nation." -Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor, The Nation
September 27, 2009 - The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Compass Group (the world's largest food service provider and parent company of Chartwell's), major tomato grower East Coast, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis gathered in Washington on Friday to announce 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."
During the press conference, Compass representatives credited a student-led delegation to their headquarters during the early stages of SFA's Dine With Dignity campaign with bringing the plight of tomato pickers to the company's attention and opening the door to dialogue with the CIW.
Without a doubt, the CIW's Campaign for Fair Food is bearing fruit. Thanks in no small part to the work of the CIW's student and youth allies, the purchasing power of the world's largest fast food corporations — now joined by the world's largest food service provider — has been harnessed to transform the face of Florida agriculture.
Today, companies such as Aramark, Sodexo and Publix no longer have an excuse to remain on the sidelines. If the changes announced on Friday are to reach further, more large tomato purchasers must also throw their weight behind the principles of full human rights and fair wages for farmworkers. The Dine with Dignity campaign and the upcoming Fall semester of action — starting with the October 5-9 national Days of Action — beckon our attention and our energy more urgently than ever.
September 21, 2009 - From September 10-13, Immokalee played host to nearly 100 students & youth for SFA's fifth-annual Encuentro! Over the course of the weekend, Encuentro participants built relationships, attended workshops, had fun, and sweated in the intense Florida heat -- all while strategizing around the upcoming year in the Campaign for Fair Food and SFA's Dine with Dignity campaign. Don't miss the exclusive photo report here and download the extensive Encuentro resources packet here.
With last week's news of a major Florida tomato grower (East Coast) agreeing to work with the CIW to fully implement the CIW's six agreements with corporate food giants (see links below), this promises to be a truly breakthrough and unforgettable season in the Campaign. We now turn to those companies that have remained on the sidelines, companies like Aramark and Sodexo, Publix and Kroger, Costco and WalMart, and ask them: Now that East Coast has stepped forward, when are you going to step up?
Click here for more information on this exciting new campaign and to become a Sustaining Member of the Student/Farmworker Alliance today.
"Becoming a sustainer is one of the easiest and most direct ways to enable this important work to continue on its own terms."
August 31, 2009 - On the verge of our 5th-annual Encuentro and an intense season of organizing and action in the Dine with Dignity campaign, our movement is stronger than ever. It also needs your support more than ever.
For a fraction of what you might spend every month on coffee, beer, or going to the movies, you could make a contribution to help SFA — one of today's most dynamic youth and student movements fighting for economic justice — achieve new victories and climb new heights as we work to transform our food system and build a base of stable, independent, no-strings-attached, grassroots funding.
Update: August 10, 2009 - Call Chipotle today!
July 22, 2009 - "Don't believe the hype." That was the message brought by Fair Food activists to moviegoers across the country at recent Chipotle-sponsored screenings of the documentary "Food, Inc." Check out some great pics and first-hand reports to learn more about Chipotle's "hype" and our response:
Start getting ready for what promises to be a season of intense action in the Dine with Dignity campaign and the Campaign for Fair Food as we call on Aramark, Sodexo, leading supermarket chains and Chipotle to do the right thing!
June 15, 2009 - As we look toward the 2009 Encuentro and a fall season of intense action and organizing, another powerful step in the Dine with Dignity campaign was just taken as Students for Sustainable Agriculture and Chicano Studies 50 at the University of California-Davis successfully pushed a resolution through their student government calling on Sodexo to "meet with the CIW and... implement an enforceable, human rights-based Code of Conduct for its tomato supply chain." (Click here for the full text of the resolution, which comes on the heels of a similar resolution passed at Wichita State University and semester-ending actions from Philadelphia to Southern Illinois.)
Plus, in a landmark moment for the Campaign for Fair Food, two of Florida's largest organic growers have agreed to pass the extra penny-per-pound on to workers and meet strict labor standards, effectively breaking the stalemate instituted by the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange two years ago! Our friends at Philadelphia's (yes, that's also where Aramark headquarters is located) own Media Mobilizing Project had this to say about the great news:
Speaking of Aramark and the rest of the food service provider industry, the Dine with Dignity campaign will be back stronger than ever this Fall, and there's no better way to deepen your involvement than to join us in Immokalee this September 10-13 2009 for the 5th-annual SFA Encuentro, quickly shaping up to be our most important one yet. Whether you're an SFA "old-timer" or just beginning to get involved, apply today to join us for a long weekend of strategizing, relationship-building, training & reflecting not only on the Campaign for Fair Food & our work in solidarity with the CIW, but also on the nature & significance of our shared work for global justice & social change. Click here for more info and don't miss some of the latest news from the campaign right here:
Campaign continues with May actions and more as students call on Aramark, Chartwells and Sodexo to follow Bon Appétit's lead
Update: May 4, 2009 - As the Dine with Dignity campaign picks up steam on campuses across the country, news of the campaign's first victory has created quite the buzz in the sustainable food movement. Grist.org's Tom Philpott ends his reflection on the agreement with a statement that echoes the thoughts of many supporters of the Campaign for Fair Food today: "With Bon Appetit rejecting dismal conditions and slave labor for the workers who pick the food it buys, I hope other large food-service providers like Sodexo and Aramark jump on board" ("Another victory for the CIW," Grist, 5/3).
April 29, 2009 - The month-old "Dine with Dignity" campaign notches its first victory today as food service provider Bon Appétit has come together with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to establish an "innovative new model for fair labor standards in Florida's tomato fields." Check out the CIW site and the below links now for more details on this exciting new agreement that breaks new ground in the Campaign for Fair Food.
According to the CIW, the agreement "is a great first cut at building a relationship between farmworkers and their employers based on a genuine appreciation for the value of farmworkers' labor - something that has been absent since the birth of the agricultural industry in Florida - and driven by a vision of universal human rights."
In light of this agreement, we take one step closer toward "Dining with Dignity" on our campuses, but much work remains to be done. Students will continue to organize on campuses holding contracts with Aramark, Chartwells, and Sodexo until those corporations similarly agree to take responsibility for the human rights abuses and poverty faced by farmworkers in their tomato supply chains - so check out the Dine with Dignity campaign today and get involved on a campus near you!
Students gear up for campus events and actions this May 1st
April 21, 2009 - Join students across the country and organize your own Dine with Dignity event or action in the coming days — a great way to combine the message of Fair Food with the nationwide May 1st mobilizations and to also finish the semester strong and give your food service provider something to think about this summer! (Don't forget to let us know what you're up to!)
For decades, farmworkers have endured grinding poverty due to the low-cost, high-volume purchasing practices of the corporate food industry. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers-led Campaign for Fair Food is slowly changing that reality. Yet, after eight years of our campaign, seven high-profile farmworker slavery convictions, and five of the world's leading food retailers having agreed to work with the CIW to improve conditions in the fields, Aramark, Sodexo and Compass continue to stand on the sidelines, arms crossed.
The Dine with Dignity launch signals the beginning of a new chapter in a story whose first lines were written 15 years ago by workers in a dusty, forgotten corner of Florida — a story now known the world over. And although we know how this chapter will end, one question lingers: To all our fellow students, friends, and neighbors who dare to dream of a better world: what will your part be in writing this story?
CIW holds powerful theater on Capitol steps and secures first-ever farmworker meeting with sitting FL Gov; SFA gears up for official launch of food service campaign to coincide with Student/Labor Week of Action and National Farmworker Awareness Week!
March 12, 2009 - CIW members traveled to Tallahassee earlier this week and held a theater and press conference on the Capitol steps to draw attention to the plague of modern-day slavery in Florida's fields and call on Gov. Charlie Crist to break his silence on the issue. Just one day later, the Governor agreed to met with the CIW to address modern-day slavery and the day-to-day conditions that give rise to it! The meeting is scheduled for March 25. (For more on the Governor meeting and what it ultimately means, click here.)
SFA members came out to the press conference from across the state and region and had these words to say to the Governor and to some of the major food service corporations on our campuses:
In just days, we will officially launch our national food service campaign - the latest phase in the struggle for fair food. Through the rest of the semester, and especially during the Student/Labor Week of Action and Farmworker Awareness Week, we will be calling on SFA'ers and supporters across the country to deliver a clear message to their campus dining administrators and food service corporations that we demand fair food on our campuses. Contact us for details about how you can get involved and take action.
In the meantime, check out the Stir it Up Campus and Real Food Challenge sites for extensive background info on the food service provider industry and how we as students can have a voice in the food that is served at our schools.
As we stand at the threshold of a new phase of the campaign, one thing is for certain: After eight years of the Campaign for Fair Food, seven high-profile farmworker slavery cases since 1997, and five of the world's leading food retailers agreeing to work with the CIW to improve conditions in the fields, Aramark, Sodexo and Chartwells can no longer feign ignorance of the human rights crisis in their tomato supply chains or claim that the solution to this crisis is not possible.
Soon, we will embark on a new chapter in the campaign and a new chapter in our own history as students and young people fighting for a better world. Will you be part of writing this history?
Action Alert! - Click here to email Governor Crist demanding that he take a stand against modern-day slavery today!
CIW, allies to deliver petition signatures & re-enact brutal slavery operation in "popular theater" at Florida Capitol on Monday, March 9th
Sign the petition on Facebook and share with all your friends!
Update: March 2, 2009 - Take a moment today to join the e-action to Florida Governor Charlie Crist, calling on him to not only publicly condemn the continuing existence of modern-day slavery in his state, but also to use the power of his office to demand that the Florida Tomato Growers' Exchange end its opposition to the agreements reached between the CIW and leading corporate purchasers of Florida tomatoes to improve farmworker wages and working conditions — the conditions that provide the fertile soil in which modern-day slavery takes root.
Campaign for Fair Food sets its sights on food service providers, supermarkets in 2009
January 6, 2009 - As a new year and a new phase in the campaign both begin, we'd like to take a moment to remember & reflect upon some highlights from 2008.
Click here and scroll up to relive all the action from last year - including the National Petition Campaign, the Burger King spy scandal, and THREE (count 'em!) major victories.
We start 2009 in a new direction: targeting the food service providers (such as Aramark, Sodexo, Compass and Bon Appétit) and supermarket chains that -- as the fast-food industry before them -- profit from the egregious exploitation of farmworkers in their supply chains. Stay tuned for all the coming news and info on how you can get involved in these new and exciting campaigns!
Check out the news archive for campaign news & developments from 2005 through 2008
PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 :: (239) 657-8311 :: organize (at) sfalliance.org