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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Harvest of Shame" Revisited - 50 years later

The original "Harvest of Shame" was broadcast on the day after Thanksgiving, 1960. Fifty years later, CBS Evening News returned to Immokalee to revisit Florida's fields and, thanks to the recent advances in the Campaign for Fair Food, found reason for hope. Check out the video above, and then click here to see excerpts from the original documentary.

And when you're done, just take a moment to consider the inexplicable -- some might say infuriating -- refusal of companies like Publix, Ahold, and Kroger to support the process of change that is underway today in Florida's fields.

While the harvest itself may no longer be as shameful as it was when Edward R. Murrow first brought farm labor exploitation to the consciousness of the nation fifty years ago, the attitude of the major supermarket companies certainly is. And, ultimately, it is their attitude that will either hold this movement back -- and so hold farmworkers in continuing and unpardonable poverty and degradation -- or allow justice to truly flourish, and make real the dreams of farmworkers and Fair Food activists across the country of an agricultural industry where workers are paid a fair wage and treated with dignity.

This Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the huge steps forward this campaign has taken over the past year, and for the hope that progress gives us that, one day, those men and women who run our country's giant supermarket chains will find their way to doing the right thing by those people whose undervalued labor has built their riches for so very long.

But until they do, we will continue to fight for fundamental human rights in Florida's tomato fields. And you can join us -- click here for more on the CIW's Supermarket Campaign and plans for the big actions in Boston and Tampa this coming spring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super Market Week of Action

This week of November 14-21 take action in the national Supermarket Week of Action.

There are several important ways you can participate:

1. The supermarket e-action: click here to send an email to King Sooper's parent company Kroger.

2. Manager letter drops: deliver a letter to the manager of your local King Sooper's and take a minute to tell the manager that, as one of Kroger's customers, you expect Kroger to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to end the human rights crisis in Florida's fields.
Download the manager letter here.

3. Fliering: join us as we flier King Sooper's customers
Saturday, October 20, 11:00am
gather at the AFSC office (901 W. 14th Avenue)

Finally, check out this great video and help spread the word about the new Supermarket Campaign:

With the recent historic agreements between the CIW and leading tomato growers, the vision of a more just and humane agricultural system is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

There's no doubt that change is underway. But the rate, breadth, and depth of that change depends now more than ever on the buyers of Florida produce — from Publix to Ahold, Kroger to Trader Joe's, Quiznos, and Walmart.

In the lead-up to Thanksgiving - one of the busiest times of the year for this country's supermarkets - you can do your part to help speed the day when all of Florida's farmworkers enjoy the fair wages, respect and dignity they deserve.

Monday, November 8, 2010

No Coast Encuentro a smashing success!

The No Coast Encuentro was a smashing success! Throughout the weekend of October 15-17, we gathered with allies from New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois and elsewhere. In those hectic three days, we formed new bonds with new friends from Boulder to Immokalee, renewed our committment to the Campaign for Fair Food, set a course for future action. (Unfortunately, one thing we failed to do was take many photos but here a few . . .)
This photo was taken literally miliseconds before the pinata from our Saturday party was decimated and its sweet contents were released for the partygoers' enjoyment. The poor tomato pinata may serve as a good analogy for what is coming to those companies - such as Quiznos, Kroger and Chipotle - which continue to hold out against the Campaign for Fair Food and the rising tide of justice in Florida's fields.
During the weekend, not only did we lead a powerful action outside Quiznos headquarters (see the photoreport here and the video here), we sharpened our organizing skills, shared ideas for future action and strategized around the next steps in the Campaign. Pictured above is a partial list of the many goals and committments that Encuentro participants made as we rapped up the Encuentro and head backed to our communities. Just like our sad paper mache friend, the corporate holdout are in for a beating.

More than anything the Encuentro was an opportunity for people to get involved, to strengthen our movement and to build connections between the many communities fighting for Fair Food. This picture, the closest we have to a group photo, represents just a fraction of the well-over a hundred people who picketed, learned, shared, partied, cooked, strategized and otherwise contributed to the No Coast Encuentro.
Thanks to everyone who made the No Coast Enucentro a huge success!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Video! "Quiznos your stalling is killing me!"

This is hot!!! As promised, here is the music video from the Oct. 15 "Quit stalling, Quiznos" flashmob and protest.

Check out the video on youtube or view it below.

Share with all your friends!

See our photoreport from the action as well: "Quiznos, the world is changing!!! When will you?"

And read the article from the Westword blog: "Denver Fair Food and Coalition of Immokalee Workers target Quiznos"