IATP Food and Society Fellows Shalini Kantayya and Sean Sellers have collaborated on the latest campaign video for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Watch the CIW’s supermarket campaign video and take action for fair food here.
By leveraging its high-volume purchasing power, the U.S. supermarket industry plays an active role in farmworker exploitation. Publix, Ahold, Kroger and Trader Joe’s all pack a very heavy punch when it comes to their market power in the produce industry. And with great power comes great responsibility – both for the poverty and brutal working conditions from which they have profited for so many years, and for the work of reforming farm labor conditions in their supply chains that lies ahead.
With the four largest fast-food companies (McDonald’s, Yum Brands, Burger King and Subway) and three largest foodservice providers (Compass Group, Aramark and Sodexo) having signed Fair Food agreements with the CIW, the focus now falls squarely on the $550 billion supermarket industry. And with the exception of Whole Foods, the natural food leader that signed an agreement with the CIW nearly two years ago, it’s time now for the major grocery chains to step up and bring their considerable purchasing power to the plate. And for that to happen, the Campaign for Fair Food needs you to take action.
- Send an email today to the CEO’s of Publix, Ahold, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s to demand they quit stalling and start working with the CIW to protect human rights in their Florida tomato supply chain.
- Then, take out your calendar and SAVE THE DATE: This coming spring, farmworkers from Immokalee and allies from across the country will be gathering not once, but twice, for farmworker justice.
The supermarket giants are the only thing standing between us and a future of respect for human rights in Florida’s fields, between a food industry based on farm labor exploitation and degradation today and a more modern, more humane industry tomorrow. Let’s send them a message – loud and clear – that it’s time for the supermarket industry to join the growing movement for Fair Food.
This blog post was originally featured on the Food and Society Fellows Fresh Ideas blog.