Friday, October 25, 2013

March to Wendy's for Farmworker Justice! - Nov. 8

On Friday, November 8th, join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their allies to march and picket at Wendy's. Nely Rodriguez from the CIW will be joining us along with other allies to gather at the Student Center on the Regis University campus to march to the Wendy's down the street on 50th and Federal. We will get to Wendy's during the busy lunch hour to deliver our message: the Denver community is in solidarity with the CIW to demand farmworker justice.

Friday, November 8th at 11:15- 12:30 pm
Gather: Regis University Student Center (50th and Lowell)
March to: Wendy's (50th and Federal)

Wendy's is the only one of the five largest fast food corporations to NOT sign onto the the Fair Food Program. In light of Wendy's founders week, Fair Food groups nation wide will be organizing in the beginning of November to tell Wendy's that the time is now for them to come to the table for farmworker justice.

For more information visit

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A couple illustrations for the Wendy's Week of Action

The Wendy's Week of Action is going on right now! Check out the CIW website for some initial photos and reports.  And check back soon for a lot more to come.

Denver's small contribution comes in the form of a few illustrations.

First, a Fair Food-spin on an old masterpiece:
Taco Bell Chihuahua: "We hope others in the restaurant industry and supermarket retail trade will follow our leadership." -Emil Brolick, Taco Bell President, 2005
Wendy: NO WAY!! -Emil Brolick, Wendy's CEO, 2013
 Second, a couple versions of a classic wanted poster inspired by Wendy's branding:

If you'd like PDFs or JPGs of any of the above imagines, please contact us at  We're happy to share.
While we're posting, a Denver Fair Food member recently ran across a letter to the editor in the Lakeland Ledger, the hometown newspaper of Publix supermarkets.  The letter was a poor attempt to criticize the CIW's decision to target Publix as part of the Campaign for Fair Food, and so the Denver Fair Food member spontaneously decided to set the letter writer straight.  Turns out the CIW liked the response so much, they featured it on their website.   This being the Denver Fair Food blog, we'll share the link here:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Denver Fair Food Delivers Manager Letter and Adopts a Wendy's!

As the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) demonstrates in New York City at the Wendy's Share holders meeting, Denver Fair Food has adopted a Wendy's location in North West Denver. Members of Denver Fair Food will be returning, on a semi-regular basis, to this location to educate Wendy's patrons on the struggle for Fair Food. In addition we engaged managers in conversation and hand delivered letters in support of the CIW.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Petition: Tell Wendy's to Join the Fair Food Program!

For the last 20 years, there’s been a quiet revolution in the tomato fields of Florida. A group of immigrant farmworkers called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (or CIW) has been organizing to eradicate human rights abuses, like wage theft, sexual assault and in extreme cases, modern slavery which once ran rampant in the tomato industry, and improve working conditions and wages for people who pick the tomatoes we eat. They’ve made incredible progress, but now Wendy’s is standing in their way.
Most of the largest fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, and Taco Bell have all signed on to the CIW’s Fair Food Program. They have agreed to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to raise wages and only buy from fields where workers’ rights are respected. Wendy’s is lagging behind the rest of the industry and is refusing to sign the agreement, despite being asked five times since 2007.
Farm workers and their allies are planning to march in the lead up to Wendy’s shareholder’s meeting in New York on May 18, and we want to make sure they can bring along a huge petition to show than consumers are behind them. Last year, the community helped push Tra we know that big corporations listen when farmworkers and consumers stand together.
der Joe’s and Chipotle to join the Fair Food Program, so
There’s no excuse for Wendy’s refusal to sign on to the fair food agreement. The program adds an additional 1.5 cents per pound of tomatoes raise wages, guarantees improved health and safety measures, and implements a complaint system that allows workers to safely report grievances and get fair arbitration. Wendy’s management has the know-how to implement the program -- CEO Emil Brolick ran Taco Bell when that fast food giant signed the agreement after a historic boycott. Wendy’s is dragging its feet refusing to support the unprecedented changes taking place in Florida's fields today, recently heralded in the Washington Post as "one of the great human rights success stories of our day"
Worse, Wendy’s is misleading the public about the way it purchases tomatoes. It says it buys produce through a non-profit cooperative that ensures that workers are treated fairly. But the “cooperative” is simply a bulk purchasing system controlled by Wendy’s, and its stated purpose is to “provide more favorable pricing” to Wendy’s, not to protect workers from poverty wages and abusive conditions. Meanwhile, the “cooperative” isn’t accountable to workers at all, and Wendy’s has remained silent in the face of demands to disclose any enforcement mechanisms behind its toothless code of conduct.
Wendy’s need to know that consumers see what it’s doing, and that we’ll hold it accountable if it keeps burying its head in the sand.
Before the Fair Food Program launched, tomato pickers faced some of the worst labor conditions in the country without any effective form of recourse. But the CIW’s approach is working, and it’s been internationally recognized for its unprecedented success in protecting human rights. An advisory committee to the White House cited the fair food agreement in a report on the eradication of human trafficking as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight against modern-day slavery, and the United Nations has sent observers to study the program.
Tell Wendy’s to sign the fair food agreement and get on the right side of history.
More information:
Old fashioned is right!, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, January 2013
"Fair Food Program helps end the use of slavery in the tomato fields" The Washington Post, September 2012

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Report-back: March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food

Come hear stories, eat some food, see a photo exhibit, watch video highlights, hear stories and listen to original music from the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food!

April 6, 6:00pm-9:00pm
at Colorado Progressive Coalition
1029 Santa Fe Dr. [map]

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers called for a 200-mile march to mark the incredible progress that has been made in Florida's fields, as well as, mark the path ahead - inviting those corporations that have yet to join the Fair Food Program.

The Denver Fair Food Committee answered that call with a delegation of students, young people, and community leaders that marched 200-miles in solidarity with the CIW and with the hope that together we will forge that new path for dignity and respect in the fields.
This will be a fundraiser to off-set costs for this delegation that rolled deep to represent the mile-high city's support for the Fair Food Program!

If you'd like to give now, click here to donate!

Come hear stories, eat some food, see a photo exhibit, watch video highlights and listen to original music from the march! 

Donations are greatly appreciated but no one will be turned away!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Denver presente! 3 more videos from the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food!

The March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food is now over. The 15-day, 200-mile action walking side-by-side with farmworkers and other allies was, by all accounts, a powerful experience for everyone who participated from Denver. Here are three more videos from Denver Fair Food members reflecting on their experience on the March.



Mu Son:

Check out the Coalition of Immokalee Workers website for more videos, photos, press and more!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Denver presente! Three videos from the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food

Today we're gonna share three videos from folks from Denver.  One from folks who recently returned from the March and two from folks who recently arrived at the March. All are reflections on their participation in the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food and the meaning of solidarity.

The first comes from the group from Regis University who recently returned from the March and almost immediately shared their experience with dozens of their schoolmates at a community dinner at the Regis-affiliated Romero House:

The second video comes from SFA Steering Committee member and Denver Fair Food organizer Joe Deras:

And finally, another Denver Fair Food member, Tania Valenzuela, shares her experience walking with the CIW on her first day on the March:

While we're on the subject of videos, be sure to check out the web page for the March where you'll find incredible videos which have at least as much beauty and heart as ours and maybe a leg up on us when it comes to technical and artistic sophistication.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Small gestures of solidarity on the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers' March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food has now been going on for over a week and covered over 100 miles of Florida highway. A large contingent from Denver Fair Food is participating in the March - some of us have already returned from Florida, some of us are still marching and some of us will be joining the other marchers shortly.

Go to the web page for the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food for all the information you'll need on this historic action.  There you'll find incredible photo reports, press accounts, inspiring videos and more.

Rather than duplicate updates of those on the march, we thought we might try to share the perspective of the thousands of bystanders who have witnessed the March as it slowly progressed through their cities.  The response from those witnesses has been an overwhelmingly positive one - overwhelming not just in terms of numbers but truly the small displays of solidarity shown by ordinary people has at times left the marchers overwhelmed with pride and joy and gratitude. 

Everywhere the March has traveled, despite being inconvenienced by backed-up traffic, despite probably being otherwise contented customers of Publix supermarkets, despite most likely never having themselves worked a day in the fields in their lives, people from all walks of life have demonstrated their support through honks, waves, cheers, claps and thumbs up as workers, and consumers, journey toward Publix headquarters seeking rights and respect.

Without further ado, here is a glimpse of but a few of the many everyday people who have expressed their solidarity:
There's this person with the awesome "solidarity fist";
this woman at the bus stop who enthusiastically waved and clamped the whole time the march passed;
the woman on the far left and her dog;
and this woman and her dog;
 this woman who recorded the scene with her smart phone;
these folks who were enjoying lunch at the most recent company to join the Fair Food Program;
 this woman with a strong thumbs up;
 this hair stylist who took a few minutes from her day to say hi;
 this person from a local dentist office;
 this guy who was admiring a nearby art exhibit before turning his admiration to one of the most beautiful social movements of our day;
 and last but not least Santa Claus, his friend, and a giant stuffed chimpanzee.

In all seriousness, though, these small gestures on the part of those who presumably have little or no knowledge of farmworkers' struggle point to something profound.  Perhaps it is an intuitive recognition of what Kandace Vallejo, a long-time ally of the CIW in the Campaign for Fair Food, articulates in her recent reflection on the March: "I’ve spent years learning that though our struggles are not the same, they converge. I am tired of a life dominated by corporate logos and individual alienation. Although North American culture prioritizes personal gain over collective responsibility, I refuse to believe that we have to reiterate such values through our relationships and lifestyles. This movement has shown me that we don’t."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day Actions hit Wendy's from Washington, DC to Santa Ana, CA

"Roses are red, violets are blue...

"...Sign the Fair Food agreement, Wendy's, it's the right thing to do!"
A month ago, Fair Food activists across the country visited their local Wendy's to deliver a message: It's time to join the rest of the fast-food industry and support the Fair Food Program. They promised to follow up their visits with a national week of Valentine-themed action if Wendy's failed to respond to their invitation to do the right thing.
This past weekend, those same consumers returned to Wendy's -- which responded to the call for social responsibility with a resounding silence -- and made good on their promise! Photos and reports have made their way into Immokalee from over a dozen cities, from a snowy march and protest in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a balmy rally in Miami where they delivered the catchy poem of unrequited love at the top of this post, and a creative bit of theater from Denver Fair Food (pictured above). And more are on the way. Check out the Coalition of Immokalee Workers website today for pictures and reports from some of those actions.
A here are some exclusive photos from the action in Denver!
A delegation from Denver Fair Food went inside to speak with the manager before performing the above shown teatro in which workers and consumers "propose" to Wendy's that the company join the Fair Food Program.
Meanwhile outside, we chanted...
passed out our home-made valentines to Wendy's customers, educating them on about farmworker's struggle...
and, in the process, asked some tough questions of the "old fashioned" burger chain...
But, of course, we sill managed to have some fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"A Date with Dignity": Wendy's Action in Denver

Join Denver Fair Food on Saturday the 16th for the Valentines-Day National Day of action. Along with 30 other cities DFF will be holding a creative direct action at a local Wendy's. Be there as we propose to Wendy's to Join farmworkers at the table in the fight for farmworker justice.

Saturday, February 16th, 12:15pm-1:30pm
at Wendy's on Colfax and Emerson
857 E. Colfax Ave.

For more information visit:

Or contact

Monday, February 4, 2013

Send "Denver Fair Food delegation" to Florida for CIW "March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food"

On February 20th, 2000, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and allies began the two-week, 230-mile "March for Dignity, Dialogue, and a Fair Wage" in Ft. Myers...
March 3rd-17th, 2013 - more than a decade later - we will march in a historic return to our roots for the two-week "March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food" from Ft. Myers to Lakeland, Florida! 
The Denver Fair Food Committee is launching a "pledge-per-mile" FUNdraiser to send a delegation to Florida!
Click here to make a pledge online! or contact if you'd like to make a donation in person or by mail!
We will be marching side-by-side with farmworkers for at least 100 miles (some of us will march the full 175 miles)! 

When we return, we will have a community report-back with food, music, photos, videos and even a raffle!
We want to provide some FUN incentives for your donation!
  1. 25 cents/mi. - $25 for 100 miles - Daily tweet shout-out during the march!
  2. 50 cents/mi. - $50 for 100 miles - Daily tweet and "March Route Photo of the Day" on Facebook (with your name tagged, of course)!
  3. $1/mi. - $100 for 100 miles - Daily tweet, photo of the day, and 10 raffle tickets at the report-back event! 
  4. 1 scholarship - $250 one-time donation - Daily tweet, photo of the day, 10 raffle tickets,and a "March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food" shirt!
Click here to make a pledge online! or contact if you'd like to make a donation in person or by mail!
For more information on the March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food visit the Coalition of Immokalee Workers website or see this announcement.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CIW calls on Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program, Denver Fair Food adds their voice

Just last week, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers made this important announcement:

It's time for Wendy's to join the rest of the fast-food industry in the 21st century and support the Fair Food Program!

2005, Taco Bell. 2007, McDonald's. 2008, Burger King. 2009, Subway. 2012, Chipotle.

What about Wendy's?

With one glaring exception, the top five largest fast-food companies in the world have joined the Fair Food Program, paying a penny-per-pound premium on the tomatoes they purchase from Florida growers and requiring their suppliers to meet the more modern, more humane labor standards contained in the Fair Food Code of Conduct

Why not Wendy's?

Well, it's certainly not because we didn't ask. Between the CIW and the Alliance for Fair Food, we sent no fewer than five letters to Wendy's CEO's between 2007 and 2013, asking the hamburger giant to "meet as soon as possible... to discuss how your company can become a leader in socially responsible practices that ensure the human rights of farmworkers in your supply chain." You can see an example here. We even visited Wendy's shareholder meetings in 2010 and 2011 to ask in person.

What was Wendy's answer?

To the letters, nothing. And to the shareholder questions, pretty much the same thing, just in actual words. According to National Economic and Social Rights Initiative representative who asked the question on behalf of the CIW at the 2011 meeting in New York City (on far right, above), "the main points were that they have been aware of the Campaign for several years, they have their own corporate responsibility program that already covers the issues, but they are taking it under consideration." In short, nothing.

So ignorance is certainly no explanation for Wendy's absence in the Fair Food Program. In fact, here's the kicker... Wendy's new CEO Emil Brolick is the last person who could claim ignorance of the Campaign for Fair Food, because before Mr. Brolick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Wendy's, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of none other than Fair Food pioneer Taco Bell during the entire 4-yr boycott! Mr. Brolick ran Taco Bell from 2000-2006, then stayed in various leadership positions at Yum Brands, ending up as Yum's Chief Operating Officer before moving to Wendy's in 2011.

What has Wendy's been doing then, if not stepping up to the same ethical purchasing practices for its Florida tomatoes that its competition has adopted? .... Check out the CIW website for more.

Across the country, allies of the CIW have to visiting their local Wendys' to push the company to join the Fair Food Program, including here in Denver.

Just yesterday, as Denver's annual Martin Luther King Day Marade passed the Colfax and Downing Wendy's, a delegation from several community-based social justice organizations spoke with the manager of the local store.

The Wendy's Campaign is already gaining steam as scenes like this play out across the country.  We're hopeful that Wendy's will see the writing on the wall and join it's fellow fast-food compatriots in the Fair Food Program before the campaign starts protesting in earnest. Check out the CIW website for more updates on the Wendy's campaign.

Caroling for Farmworker Justice: photoreport

While this blog may have taken a break for the holidays, Denver Fair Food did not!  Here are some photos from December 22nd when we went Caroling for Farmworker Justice inside several King Soopers in Denver and Lakewood.

 "Oooh, you better watch out! You better not lie! You better not pout, I'm telling you why! King Soopers exploits farmworkers!"
 "Workers in Immokalee, Florida / Pick tomatoes for us all! / While we live nice and cozy / They can hardly live at all!" (to the tune of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
"Vamos a luchar! Vamous a gritar! Vamos a parar la esclavitud laboral!" (to the tune of Feliz Navida)