In 2011, The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) launched the Fair Food Program, which is a unique partnership among farmers, farm workers, and retail food and foodservice companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. They say it harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farm workers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.
And the Alliance seems to be winning over retail advocates. Fourteen major food retailers including Whole Foods, Yum Brands, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Subway and Compass Group have all signed up. This comes at a very apt time as the Federal government seems to be at odds with just what consumers want from their food brands. This is a legally binding agreement that allow buyers to incentivize suppliers to comply with the Fair Food Code of Conduct and requiring suspension of purchases for zero tolerance offenses such as forced labor and child labor; and is monitored by The Fair Foods Standards Council.
The results speak for themselves. The penny-per-pound premium paid by buyers has raised over $26 million in Fair Food Premiums. Over 1,800 worker human rights incidents have been solved. Systemic wage theft, forced labor, sexual assault and serious health and safety violations have been eliminated on Fair Food Program farms.
An Alliance where everyone wins.