The growers, in turn, agree … Sunripe agreed to join the program in 2010. Burkhalter, Holly. 17 Apr. [2] Big companies, including Taco Bell and Walmart have pledged to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes and buy only from growers who comply with the program. In 2010, Pacific Tomato Growers and Lipman, two of the nation’s largest producers, signed on to the program, effectively ending the industry boycott. Web. While Wendy’s is the immediate target, there are other big companies refusing the Immokalee group’s demands, including Costco and the grocery chains Publix and Kroger. The New York Times, 24 Apr. The Fair Food Program is a human rights program that is designed, monitored, and enforced by the very workers whose rights it is intended to protect. N.p., n.d. N.p., n.d. A drive in college towns aims to get the fast-food chain to follow McDonald’s and Walmart in buying tomatoes grown under strict labor standards. The Fair Food Program has made tremendous progress since it was first implemented across the Florida tomato industry in 2011. Under the Fair Food Program, buyers like Walmart and McDonald’s agree to pay 1 to 4 cents more per pound of tomatoes. The campaign has been picking up steam, gaining support from a wide range of religious and political organizations. CIW Taco Bell joint press release. [1] It aims to provide Florida’s tomato workers with better wages and working conditions. Over nearly four years, supporters on several campuses persuaded officials to either remove the chain from campus or block it from doing business there in the future. 12 Apr. One is the National Council of Churches (NCC), a group that also supported the CIW during its 2003 boycott of Taco Bell. Why Wendy’s Is Facing Campus Protests (It’s About the Tomatoes). “Pay is substantially higher for these people.”. Apr. 2014. “If this is how big corporations are behaving, then it is O.K.”. Greenhouse, Steve. But to do so effectively, said James Brudney, a law professor at Fordham University who has studied farm labor, it is important to show buyers and growers that they can’t avoid taking part in the long run. Like other growers in the program, it must show new workers a video about their labor rights and let the Immokalee group provide education sessions for workers at least once per season. [9], Walmart joined the Fair Food Program on January 16, 2014. The program has a list of six elements in order to ensure social responsibility and to create a strong partnership between workers, growers and buyers. 2014, Quee, Richard Chin. Unless more companies commit to buying tomatoes through the Fair Food Program, growers who haven’t joined will continue to have a market for their products and may not feel pressure to raise their labor standards. 10 Apr. The Fair Foods Standards Council (FFSC) oversees the program and ensures that standards are upheld. The New York Times. Web. And the mayor of Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, has placed a similar resolution on the agenda of a City Commission meeting this week. Web. "Fair Food Program Report 2015." Over the last decade, it has helped transform the state’s tomato industry from one in which wage theft and violence were rampant to an industry with the some of the highest labor standards in American agriculture. “They want to be able to make clear that this is a serious market penetration,” Mr. Brudney said. Web. "Fair Food Program." Under the Fair Food Program, buyers like Walmart and McDonald’s agree to pay 1 to 4 cents more per pound of tomatoes. Fair Food Program Report 2015." Like Taco Bell, Wendy’s is potentially susceptible to protests on college campuses. "Immokalee Tomato Pickers Win Campaign Against Taco Bell." But the announcement came just before the local City Council and the university’s student government passed resolutions advocating boycotts of Wendy’s. "Fair Food Program Helps End the Use of Slavery in the Tomato Fields." In 2005, Taco Bell’s parent company agreed to buy its tomatoes through the program, becoming the first major company to sign on. Web. “The smaller brands look at Wendy’s refusal to join the program and make a decision,” said Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a former farmworker who is a leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. “Indoor greenhouse farms are not inherently better in terms of labor conditions,” said Margaret Gray, an associate professor of political science at Adelphi University who has studied farm labor conditions. In the coming years, the Immokalee workers hope to bring their model to a variety of crops in many states, where tens of thousands of workers are still vulnerable to abuses. [16] ”, The CIW is developing a consumer-facing "Fair Food Label" to help promote the program in supermarkets. The Fair Food Program (FFP) is a legally binding agreement between the Florida Tomato Growers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). By late 2014, a few years after the program was up and running, Wendy’s had ceased buying winter tomatoes from Florida and was importing most of that supply from Mexican farms, where forced labor and physical abuse are common. As many as 80 percent of women working in the farm industry have reported sexual harassment on the job according to a 2010 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The movement’s momentum continues today: In the past five years, food retail chains including Trader Joe’s, Chipotle, Fresh Market, Stop and Shop, Giant, and Wal-Mart have joined the Fair Food program.

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