Campaign for Fair Food (CIW)

NESRI works in close partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to build support for its Campaign for Fair Food, which aims to transform human rights conditions in the agricultural sector.  NESRI is a co-founder of the Alliance for Fair Food, a network of human rights, religious, student, labor, and grassroots organizations who work in partnership with the CIW.  NESRI provides legal and policy research, supports transnational advocacy targeting corporations with headquarters outside the United States, facilitates shareholder advocacy, and organizes the human rights community in support of the Campaign for Fair Food.

The CIW is a community-based worker organization in Immokalee, Florida representing farmworkers who face oppressive working conditions and earn sub-poverty wages that, prior to several campaign victories, had barely risen in over 25 years.  Although the farmworkers are employed by growers, it is the large corporate purchasers of tomatoes that ultimately determine the human rights conditions facing farmworkers in the fields. 

The Campaign for Fair Food calls upon large food retail corporations like fast food chains, food service companies, and supermarkets, to pay an additional penny per pound to the farmworkers who pick the tomatoes they buy and to adopt human rights-based participatory monitoring systems to prevent abusive labor practices in their tomato supply chain.  Yum! Brands Inc., McDonald's, Burger King, Chipotle, Subway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Bon Appetit, Compass, Aramark, Sodexo, Ahold (parent company of Stop and Shop) and local growers -- including the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, whose membership represents 90% of Florida tomato production -- have all entered into such agreements.  In 2011, the agreements were absorbed what is called the Fair Food Program.  

The Campaign is currently focused on bringing Wendy's and Publix into the Fair Food Program.  Walmart, which signed an agreement with CIW in 2014, has promised to help expand the program beyond Florida and to other crops.  

The Fair Food Program represents a new model of socially responsible corporate accountability referred to as Worker-driven Social Responsibility.  It employs a structure that is comprehensive, verifiable, and sustainable.  Workers are educated on the human rights-based and worker developed Code of Conduct while on-the-clock, have access to a 24-hour complaint line and complaint-resolution process, and benefit from extensive third-party audits that include worker interviews.  The auditor, the Fair Food Standards Council is an indigenous monitor, solely devoted to overseeing program compliance and resolving complaints.  Repeated violators of the Code of Conduct can face market sanctions, losing their ability to sell their produce to the major retailers participating in the program.  

Other allies of the Alliance for Fair Food include Just Harvest USA, Student/Farmwork Alliance, NYC Community Farmerworker Alliance and the Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida.

 

Take Action!

Bring the Campaign to Your Community

Supermarket letters: Stop the exploitation of workers, print out this letter and bring it your local supermarket.  Let them know that you will not stand for low wages and poor labor treatment from their stores suppliers!  For more information on the supermarket campaign, check out this link.

Organizing an action: You can organize an action to raise public awareness and urge supermarkets to sign on to CIW’s agreement.  Click these links for a flyer or information on organizing.

Postcards: Send postcards to your supermarket or fast food restaurant.  To request postcards email workers@ciw-online.org.  Please include all of your information.

DVD: One of the CIW's organizing principles is "Consciousness + Commitment = Change."  You can help create consciousness in your community about the conditions in the fields and the important changes being created by the CIW's Campaign for Fair Food by screening a DVD about our struggle.  Email workers@ciw-online.org to receive your free copy.

Educate: Educate your community about the Fair Food Campaign at farmers markets and co-op’s!  Use the material provided below.

Additional Material

Check of the famous documentary “Harvest of Shame” and then use the link above to engage in discussion on how this relates to present labor issues.

Why a penny a pound matters

Farmworker facts and figures

General information about the Campaign for Fair Food

Discusses the role of human rights in a sustainable food system

More about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

A multimedia presentation that promotes more socially sustainable food

Information about campaigns from the Student/Farmworker Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

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