Coalition of Immokalee Workers Launches Fair Food Label
There is a trifecta of big food justice news happening today from our coalition (Coalition of Immokalee Workers), advisors (Sanjay Rawal, Director of Food Chains), and media partners (Food Day) – and we hope you’re as excited as we are.
Food Chains is joining in Food Day by working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to officially launch their Fair Food Program Label.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fair Food Standards Council have officially released a label to help shoppers identify which tomatoes come from ethical farms.
The label, designed by Pinkwater & Putman will be available to all grocery stores and restaurants that participate in the Fair Food Program. Participants in the Fair Food Program pay one more penny per pound when they buy Florida tomatoes to increase wages for farm workers. They also commit to a worker-created Code of Conduct to ensure safe working conditions and prevent forced labor, sexual harassment and child labor in the fields.
“We have waited nearly five years before revealing this label to the world today,” said Cruz Salucio of the CIW. “Over those years, we have been doing the hard, day-by-day work of building the Fair Food Program in Florida’s fields — educating workers about their rights, investigating complaints, and identifying and eliminating bad actors and bad practices — so that today we can stand behind the fair conditions and effective monitoring process that this label represents. We couldn’t be more proud of this label because it symbolizes the new day for workers in agriculture that we, as farmworkers and in partnership with consumers across the country, have fought so hard to make real,” said Cruz Salucio of the CIW.
Whole Foods will be the first member of the Fair Food Program to display the label in their stores, starting with the South Eastern Region.
Starting this month, the Fair Food Program Label will be available in select grocery stores and restaurants that participate in the Fair Food Program. You can look for this label, which guarantees that the tomatoes you are buying are from farms participating in the Fair Food Program. Participating companies commit to pay one more penny per pound of tomatoes, which translates into better wages for workers. Most importantly, these companies only purchase tomatoes from farms that ensure the basic human rights of the men and women in the fields, including the right to safe working conditions, to water and shade, and to work free of sexual violence and forced labor.
The label is the result of the Fair Food Program, which was created out of the success of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)’s Campaign for Fair Food. The founders of the CIW were recently honored with the Clinton Global Citizen Award, and presented the award by Eva Longoria.
Longoria has been a longtime supporter of farmworkers including the CIW and the Fair Food Program, and recently executive-produced a documentary film on their work, entitled Food Chains.
Food Chains follows the CIW as they peacefully protest large grocery store and fast food chains to call on them to join the Fair Food Program. There are currently 12 retail food giants participating in the program, including McDonald’s, Whole Foods, Subway, Chipotle, and Walmart. This is what it will take to bring humane living conditions and fair wages to the workers.
“The Fair Food Label is a historic moment for both consumers and for workers. In an era when there is so much interest in food, this label will allow consumers to know that the products it represents were picked by people treated well and paid fairly,” said Food Chains director and advisor to the Real Food Media Contest, Sanjay Rawal.
In support of the label launch, the filmmakers have released a sneak peak of the film, available here.
Food Chains, which stars Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser, and members of the CIW, will open in theaters nationwide, distributed by Screen Media, on November 21,. It will also be released on iTunes on November 21st and VOD starting November 27, Thanksgiving Day, and in a Spanish language version.