Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trader Joes makes agreement with farmworkers; @ciw now pivots to Publix

Pivoting to Publix...
Above, workers from Immokalee arrive in Friday's early morning light at the parking lot of a North Naples Publix located at the intersection of Immokalee Road and Hwy 41 -- directly across the street from Trader Joe's first-ever Florida store -- following a 35-mile bike trip from Immokalee. The action was shifted to Publix after Trader Joe's and the CIW signed a Fair Food Agreement late Thursday. With Trader Joe’s decision, the only store on this corner selling tomatoes that were bought the old way, no questions asked, will be Publix. Workers and Fair Food allies will gather outside of Publix again this Sunday (corner of Vanderbilt and 41, @ 2pm) to call on Florida's grocery giant to follow the lead of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in backing the CIW's groundbreaking Fair Food Program. You can listen to a great story on the bike protest by clicking here.
Following agreement with Trader Joe's, pressure mounts on Publix as Fast for Fair Food approaches...
As reaction continues to pour in from across the country to yesterday's news of the CIW's agreement with Trader Joe's, the Campaign for Fair Food turns to Publix, demanding -- with renewed urgency -- that Florida's largest grocer do its part to improve wages and working conditions in the fields where its tomatoes are picked.
We'll get back to Publix in a moment, but first just a word on the overwhelming response to the Trader Joe's agreement. And that word would be... Wow!
Twitter, Facebook, blogs and mainstream media all lit up like never before in the history of the Campaign for Fair Food, with well-wishers offering heartfelt congratulations -- to both the CIW and Trader Joe's -- and Fair Food activists letting Publix and the rest of the supermarket industry know that the time for standing in the way of progress is over.
The general response was perhaps best captured in a beautifully written statement from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the full text of which can be read at the CIW site today:
Statement by the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Linda Valentine, Executive Director, General Assembly Mission Counsel, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
On behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I commend Trader Joe’s and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers on reaching this agreement. By joining the Fair Food Program, Trader Joe’s has strengthened this successful, collaborative model between farmworkers, corporations, growers and consumers, that is advancing farmworkers’ human rights, corporate accountability, and consumer confidence....
I take this occasion to call, yet again, upon Publix, Ahold and Kroger to stop standing on the sidelines. Inaction in the face of generations of exploitation and a proven model for change is not neutral. Your refusal to join the Fair Food Program threatens to undermine these important gains.... (read more)
We will have a complete media round-up on the Trader Joe's agreement next week. For now, please visit the CIW website today for a chock-full update from the frontlines of the fight for Fair Food -- from the Publix bike ride yesterday and reaction to the Trader Joe's agreement to a reflection on inaction and neutrality and the upcoming Fast For Fair Food...
Thanks - Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Coalition of Immokalee Workers • PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 • (239) 657-8311 •

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