Monday, July 23, 2012

Action Alert: Deliver a Chipotle manager letter this week!

Take a few minutes this week to tell Chipotle Mexican Grill to join the Fair Food Program by delivering a letter to the manager at your nearest restaurant.

Download the manager letter here!

This wednesday allies of the CIW across the country will be taking action as part of a National Chipotle Day of Action.  They will demand that Chipotle make a real commitment to upholding the human rights of farmworkers in its supply chain.  We are fed up with Chipotle's go-it-alone approach which eschews transparency, rejects worker participation and promises no lasting commitment.  We will not settle for half measures when it comes to human rights!

Amplify the message from the Day of Action by taking action yourself.  Download a manager letter, take it to a local Chipotle restaurant, ask to speak to the manager, and give her or him the letter (and a piece of your mind while you're at it!).

If you speak to a manager, she may try to convince you that Chipotle is already living up to the Fair Food standards. You can tell her or him that Chipotle doesn't get to decide the meaning of Fair Food; We do! And we demand that Chipotle sign a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers! See Chipotle's Top Ten Falsehoods, Fibs and Fabrications about the Campaign for Fair Food for more information.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Chipocrisy tumblr

Our friends at the Community/Farmworker Alliance in New York just debuted this amazing new Tumblr: Chipocrisy

Check it out!

And while you're at it, check out this great blog post from the Oakland Food Policy Council:
Chipotle, Not So Hot

Dare we say there is a renewal of protest against Chipotle for its stubborn refusal to sign a Fair Food agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and it's cynical attempts to appease and confuse consumers with half measures.

There is even a National Day of Action planned to put pressure on the Denver-based burrito chain.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ohio allies urge Kroger to join Fair Food Program at annual shareholder meeting...

Our allies in Ohio were recently protesting outside of the annual shareholder meeting of the Kroger Corporation, the parent company of Colorado's own King Soopers and City Market.  Here a report from the CIW website:

Members of Ohio Fair Food and the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center demonstrate outside
Kroger's 2012 Shareholder Meeting in Cincinnati.

Late last month in Cincinnati, Kroger executives and shareholders gathered in the company's hometown for the 2012 Kroger shareholder meeting amid a tide of rising profits for the country's second largest grocery chain.

A group of over 75 consumers and farmworker allies -- including members of Ohio Fair Food, the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center (CIWC) and other organizations and congregations -- braved the sweltering June heat for a lively picket drawing attention to Kroger's ongoing refusal to join the Fair Food Program.

Outside the meeting, picketers engaged board members and shareholders in dialogue on the changes underway in Florida's fields -- and Kroger's refusal to support these changes. The Fair Food activists also stood in support of a shareholder resolution filed by The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Meanwhile, inside the meeting, one CIW ally posed the following question to Kroger CEO David Dillon, which read, in part:

"The largest fast food and food service corporations in the country are now working with the other parties in the supply chain — over 90% of Florida tomato growers, as well as tens of thousands of farmworkers — to improve wages and working conditions, and stamp out abuses, in the industry. The mechanism guiding this collaboration, the Fair Food Program, has been called a “win-win-win” proposition by all parties involved.

In the 21st century information age, supermarkets no longer sell products alone. Consumers are looking into the stories behind their food — and they aren’t complacent upon learning that the tomatoes they buy are based on the exploitation of hard-working men and women. In joining the Fair Food Program, Kroger could provide its customers with the story they want to hear: fair production — free of poverty, free of abuse.

Our question to you is: When will Kroger seize this opportunity to mitigate human rights abuses in its supply chain, give its consumers a story behind their food that Kroger can be proud of, and — if done soon — pave the way for the rest of the industry?"

In a rehash of comments made at last year's shareholder meeting and again just days ago, Dillon offered a non-response referring to unilateral "investigations" and the company's own code of conduct -- the same code of conduct in place while Kroger continued to purchase, and profit from, produce harvested for decades under conditions of poverty, degradation, and abuse.

The response from Dillon and Kroger is especially jarring given the successful implementation of the Fair Food Program on fields across the state this past season and recent reports that the rising profits lauded at the shareholder meeting are attributable, in part, to "falling costs for produce" and Kroger's penchant "for holding down prices, even as food costs rise."

Undaunted, protestors outside the meeting continued with a march to Kroger corporate headquarters before concluding the action at the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center:
After the Kroger shareholder meeting began, the protesters marched to Kroger headquarters on Vine Street, where CIWC organizers Sameerah Ahmad and Robert Pace spoke with corporate visitors to Kroger.

Back at the CIWC, Sameerah Ahmad relayed a report from the Kroger meeting on the results of the shareholder resolution. "Conditions in the fields were brought up, including widespread sexual harassment, wage theft, and sub-poverty wages in the supply chain," she said.

"The delegate called on Kroger to follow in the footsteps of 10 other corporations, and give consumers access to tomatoes free of abuse in their supply chain," Ahmad said. "The motion received thousands of shareholder votes, but ultimately did not pass.

"Kroger has yet to join the only program that can ensure its customers that its tomato supply chain is free of abuses. Obviously we still have work to do." read more
And finally, don't miss the media coverage of the day's events: