Monday, November 29, 2010

national Supermarket Week of Action: Denver represents!

The Supermarket Week of Action saw more than 30 actions happen around the country.

With the CIW and the FTGE announcing a landmark agreement to extend the CIW's Fair Food principles to over 90% of the Florida tomato industry, the Harvest of Shame is nearing an end. As we turn the page on this chapter of Florida agricultural history, however, much work remains. The supermarket industry is now the only impediment to a future of fair wages and dignified treatment for farmworkers.

Check out the full multimedia report from the Week of Action on the Student/Farmworker site by clicking below:

And we wanted to also share our Week of Action Photos from Denver. Denver hosted several actions during the week. One unidentified group linked the purchasing practices of Kroger-owned King Soopers with the harsh reality of continued exploitation in the fields with this rather blunt (and very bad-ass) banner drop:

...while at the same time members of Denver Fair Food employed a slightly different tactic by delivering a letter to King Soopers' headquarters. (So let us get this straight: King Soopers is "Colorado's homegrown grocery store" despite being one of dozens of brands owned by Cincinnati-based corporate behemoth Kroger? Hmm...)

Unfortunately, no one from King Soopers was willing to meet with us. But we're undaunted, knowing that King Soopers and Kroger's other brands will be further bomdarded with the message of the Campaign for Fair Food until they finally decide to behave in a socially responsible way.

Elsewhere, other Denver Fair Food members took the message straight to King Soopers' customer - customers were eager to learn the truth behind their produce and to sign postcards calling on Kroger to work with the CIW.

We'd also like to do a shout out to our compas in the Río Grande Valley who reminded Denver-based Quiznos that the sub franchise isn't off the hook, dropping off a manager letter at their local Quiznos restaurant. Indeed the campaign against Quiznos is only growing and spreading for across the nation. And Quiznos can be sure they'll be hearing from us in Denver again soon!

Finally we'll end with this message to the supermarket industry from the Student/Farmworker Alliance:

Farmworkers & consumers to supermarkets: "The world is changing; When will you?"
The CIW's agreement with the FTGE — fruit of 15 years of struggle by farmworkers and their allies — is a landmark moment in the history of agriculture in the US. (Don't miss the media round-up below from coverage of the agreement and Week of Action.)

But the Campaign for Fair Food is far from over. The onus is now clearly on supermarket chains such as Publix, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Giant, Walmart and Trader Joe's to step up and support the higher standards and more fair wages represented by the CIW/FTGE accord with their significant purchasing power. And if the past is any guide, it will ultimately be the organized voice of conscious consumers — taking action alongside Immokalee's farmworkers — that will finally bring the supermarket industry to the table.

Thanks to the hard work of farmworkers in Immokalee, thousands of farmworker allies across the country, nine major food corporations, and, now, almost the entire Florida tomato industry, it's never been easier to support human rights in Florida's fields.

The refusal on the part of supermarket industry leaders to participate in these changes is as indefensible as it is inexplicable.

With every additional retailer that participates, the wage increase and the support for fair standards will grow. Whether or not Publix, Stop & Shop, Kroger and other industry leaders participate makes a real difference in whether or not the men and women who work 10-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week to harvest this country's food must continue to make the choice between paying rent or buying food; between seeking medical care for workplace injuries or losing their jobs; between supporting their families and having their dignity violated.

Publix, Ahold, Kroger: What side of history will you be on? Will you throw your weight behind the changes underway in Florida's fields today, or will you continue to stand, arms crossed, blocking the path to progress?

One thing's for certain, consumers and farmworker allies will have their say. Save the Date and get ready to join us in the Boston area February 27 and in Tampa on March 5, 2011, as we will make it plain that it's time for Ahold and Publix to be a part of the solution to the Harvest of Shame that has gone on for far too long.

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