Thursday, November 29, 2012

Video! King Soopers: Come to the Table...with Farmworkers!

King Soopers: Come to the Table...with Farmworkers! from Denver Fairfood on Vimeo.

A great short video of our teatro from November 17th depicting King Soopers' and parent company Kroger's stubborn refusal to join the Fair Food Program

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why won't King Soopers listen to its customers? An action photo report

Still riding high from our recent victory in the Chipotle campaign, the Denver community held two actions during the Thanksgiving Week of Action.  Both sought to share our message with King Soopers and its parent company Kroger that it is time to come to the table with farmworkers and join the Fair Food Program. And both - in what might be a case of life imitating art - illustrated the ways in which Kroger has turned its back on both farmworkers in its supply chain and its own customers.  The first action can be called:

A Tale of Two Tables

To begin, check out this great video from the action: King Soopers: Come to the Table... 

The action began with a dramatic visual representation of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' long journey toward greater justice, dignity and respect for Florida's farmworkers and the progress that still needs to occur.
The first table, representing the Fair Food Program, depicted the broad array of disparate players in the food industry - from farmworkers to fast-food and grocery chains to tomato growers - who have come to work together as equals in order to end the human rights crisis in Florida's fields, all the while surrounded by dedicated allies who know that the fight to end the exploitation of workers at the other end of the food chain is a struggle to end their exploitation as well.

Meanwhile the second table depicted a smug and miserly executive from King Soopers sitting at a table by himself, his back turned to the table where so many others have congregated to ensure a more just and responsible agricultural industry.

One by one, individuals set the table, going through the history of the Campaign for Fair Food, from the founding of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in 1993 through the 11 corporations who've already joined the Fair Food Program including McDonald's, Subway, Whole Foods and just a couple months ago Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill.  All the while, King Soopers stubbornly clung to a "business as usual" mentality which has allowed exploitation to strive for so long and ignored the growing consensus.

But after the giant table was finally set, an obvious question loomed over King Soopers' head.

We called to the executive to "Come to the table!" Just like in our dramatic enactment, we know that King Soopers and parent-company Kroger will try to ignore us (just see below for what happened when we visited the King Soopers corporate offices).

But we also know, every company, no matter how big, eventually cracks.

Armed with this knowledge, the crowd marched across the street and held a loud and powerful demonstration outside of King Soopers' popular supermarket in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood...

...where we repeated old-time chants like "Down! Down! with exploitation!"...

...and introduced new people from the very supportive neighborhood to the Campaign for Fair Food.  Over one hundred customers signed postcards to Kroger that morning calling on the company to join the Fair Food Program.  Which brings us to our second action:

Why won't King Soopers listen to its customers?

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Denver Fair Food visited King Soopers headquarters (Kroger's regional offices) to deliver the postcards we had gotten signed at the previous action.

 First we greeted King Soopers employees as they arrived for work in order to inform them of the need for Kroger to join the Fair Food Program.

We then attempted to speak with a representative from the company and deliver the postcards representing the concerns of so many of us in Denver. However, just like in our street theater from the earlier action, no one from the corporate offices would speak with us. Instead we were asked to leave the property by a security guard. While we didn't expect our demands to be embraced on the spot but we also weren't expecting the cold shoulder. We left confused as to why a company that claims to care so much about its customers would be unwilling to listen to them, but we also left more determined then ever to make our voices heard. Once again like our enactment from the earlier action, we know that eventually Kroger, like so many before it, will eventually come to the table. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

King Soopers Action: Time to Come to the Table with Farmworkers!

King Soopers, time to come to the table with Farmworkers! Join the Fair Food Program!
Saturday, November 17, 12:00noon
King Soopers, 9th & Corona

Set the Table and call on King Soopers’ parent company Kroger to join the 11 other food corporations who have joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program
A new era of human rights and fair wages - for which farmworkers have been fighting for so long - is taking hold in Florida's tomato fields. Yet Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers still refuses to adopt the Fair Food principles which would allow these changes to spread and thrive, despite that 11 other fast-food and grocery chains have already joined. It’s time for Kroger to come to the table and join the Fair Food Program!
Florida's farmworkers have long faced brutal conditions. They earn sub-poverty wages, have no right to form unions or to over-time pay, lack traditional employment benefits such as health, sick leave or pensions, and have not received a significant raise in nearly 30 years. At the current rate, a Florida tomato picker must harvest over TWO TONS just to earn the equivalent of minimum wage for a typical 10 hour. In the most extreme situations workers are held in modern-day slavery and forced to work against their will.
However, there is a new hope on the horizon, thanks to the hard-fought campaigns of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-base organization of Haitian, Latino and Mayan farmworkers in Florida. Today, eleven leading food corporations (including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) and over 90% of the Florida tomato industry have joined the CIW's Fair Food Program, which includes a penny-per-pound piece rate wage increase, a strict code of conduct, a cooperative complaint resolution system, a participatory health and safety program, and a worker-to-worker education process.
However, Kroger - the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers - has yet to do its part. Now it is time for Kroger to put its support behind the Fair Food Program so that we can put an end to Florida’s “Harvest of Shame” once and for all.
For more information:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Archive of Chipotle Campaign & Victory

Due to the hard work and solidarity of so many in Denver, Chipotle finally joined the CIW's Fair Food Program! While it is of course vital to celebrate our victories, it is just as important to document them. 

Here is an extensive (although not comprehensive) list of the many articles, reports and actions from the six years of the Chipotle campaign and the many articles which came out following the victory:

  • How Chipotle Got on Board With Rights for Farmworkers
  • Chipotle signs Fair Food Agreement, is Kroger next?
  • Chipotle fair-food agreement is the latest win for Florida farmworkers
  • Workers Fight for Justice, From Wal-Mart to Chipotle
  • Chipotle Signs Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Chipotle Signs Contract with Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Now with More Integrity – Chipotle Signs on to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program
  • Your Burrito Just Got More Ethical: Chipotle Commits to Fair Wages for Farmworkers
  • Another Win for Fair Farming! Chipotle sidles up to the Coalition for Immokalee Workers!
  • Chipotle signs fair wage, labor agreement with Florida tomato pickers
  • Chipotle, CIW Finally Reach Accord To Support Florida Tomato Pickers' Rights
  • Chipotle Signs Fair Food Agreement with Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Chef Jose Duarte and Taranta Staff at Starchefs ICC2012 Congress
  • Chipotle Signs Agreement with CIW to Join Fair Food Program
  • Dear Stop + Shop: Please work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
  • CIW analysis of Chipotle victory
  • Chipotle signs agreement to improve conditions for workers
  • Chipotle Finally Walks the 'Food with Integrity' Walk, Signs Farmworker Agreement
  • Chipotle Agrees to Respect Farmworkers
  • Chipotle signs fair food agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Farmworker coalition signs Chipotle to higher-wage agreement for tomato pickers
  • Food Justice Victory: Chipotle Signs Agreement With Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Coalition of Immokalee Workers reach accord on tomato harvest wages, working conditions
  • Press Release: Chipotle signs agreement with CIW to join Fair Food Program!
  • Seeking Living Wage and Humane Conditions, Immokalee Workers Bring Fair Food Struggle to Chipotle
  • Hometown chipocrisy: is “food with integrity” just a slogan?
  • Open Community Letter to Chipotle on Behalf of Sustainable Food Movement
  • Demonstrators gather outside Chipotle's Denver headquarters
  • Chipotle bring Cultivate Festival - music, food, ideas and controversy - to City Park
  • At Utopian Chipotle Festival, Immokalee Workers Protest ‘Food With Integrity’
  • Day of Action: from coast to coast, the message is clear...
  • Chipotle (Inter)National Day of Action Photo Report
  • Integrity and Justice: Tell Chipotle to Go Deeper Than Just a Slogan
  • Taking on Chipotle with the Campaign for Fair Food
  • Should the Food Movement Push for Better Jobs too?
  • Why Won't Chipotle Sign the Fair Food Agreement?
  • CIW allies in Columbus and Cincinnati join Chipotle national day of action
  • Immokalee workers protest Chipotle
  • Protesters Target Union Square Chipotle Over Wages For Farm Workers
  • Demonstrators Protest for Fair Food practices at Chipotle’s Across U.S.
  • Chipotle, Do the Right Thing (for farmworkers)
  • Chipotle, please add some farmworker justice to my burrito
  • Chipotle's Top Ten Falsehood, Fibs and Fabrications
  • Photo Report from Philly Chipotle Protest
  • Photo Report from NYC Chipotle protest
  • Chipotle battles new criticism from growers' group
  • Chipotle's Fair Food fail
  • Food writers take chipotle to task
  • Chipotle Ad Criticizes Industrial Agriculture but Ignores Worker Rights
  • Chipotle's Grammy Ad: Great Farming Practices, or Just Great Filmmaking?
  • Are Chipotle And Trader Joe's Really Selling Food with "Integrity?"
  • Chipocrisy at graduation
  • Students to protest Steve Ells at CU graduation
  • Don't Fall For Chipotle's Spin on Slavery
  • Is Chipotle Still Profiting from Modern-Day Slavery?
  • To establish ‘integrity,’ Chipotle Grill needs to stand against farmworker abuse
  • Still Waiting... Chipotle CEO Ells Continues to duck Chipotle Challenge...
  • One Company Thinks They've Created Fast Food with a Conscience -- Are They Right?
  • Chipotle Doesn't Support Florida's Tomato Pickers? Say it ain't so, Steve.
  • Chipotle Challenge: time to back up ‘food with integrity’
  • Chipotle's 'Integrity' slogan draws heat
  • "Our tomatoes are picked by slaves"
  • Celebrating a victory while continuing to call on Chipotle
  • No Justice, No Sustainability
  • When will we be satisfied?
  • Chipotle Uncensored
  • Chipotle Grilled
  • Battle of the Burrito
  • Why were Fair Food activists kicked out of Food, Inc.?
  • Dictionary: hy-poc-ri-sy
  • Further Reading for Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Sustainable food leaders letter to Chipotle CEO Steve Ells
  • Joe Stupp alleges...When in reality...
  • Chipotle: Not So Hot for Farmworkers
  • Chipotle Exploits Farmworkers
  • Chipocrisy Tour Video: Food With Integrity?
  • CIW's Response to Chipotle's 11th Hr Offer
  • Challenging the Chipocrisy
  • 2008 Chipocrisy Tour
  • 2008 Student Letter to Chipotle
  • USAS Action at Chipotle HQ
  • What About Farmworkers, Mr. Ells?
  • Marchers Ask Chipotle to "Wrap a Living Wage" into Their Burritos
  • Florida Farmworkers and Denver Allies March on Chipotle Headquarters
  • April 2, 2008 Denver Fair Food Action outside Chipotle HQ
  • Scholars' Letter to Chipotle
  • Protesters Ask Chipotle to Put its Money Where the Burrito Goes
  • Let the Debate Begin . . .
  • 2006 Denver Mini-Tour
  • CIW's Original Letter to Chipotle