PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Fair Food Program education travels to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina!

The Fair Food Program education team meets with workers on St. Helena Island in South Carolina, debuting a new popular education drawing on health and safety in the fields (June 2017)

Today, we bring you a first-hand glimpse into an essential element of the Fair Food Program:  The on-the-clock, on-the-farm, worker-to-worker education sessions, conducted by CIW members with thousands of farmworkers each season.  This summer, and for the third year running, the CIW’s Fair Food Program education team is spending the month of June following the tomato harvest beyond the borders of Florida into Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Drawing on decades of collective experience with the unique health and safety hazards, hard labor, and often harsh power dynamics involved in agricultural work, the farmworker education team brings an unparalleled level of expertise and authority to each education session, informing their fellow workers of their rights under the Fair Food Program and opening a space for dialogue with the company where workers are able to discuss their concerns without fear of retaliation.  What’s more, the team is constantly improving its methodology.   This summer, the education team debuted a set of popular education drawings, sketches that serve as a spark for group reflection and provide a sort of portal for workers to discuss common problems from the fields that might otherwise be too delicate to discuss in the abstract.

This image, for example, poses the problem of supervisor pressure on workers to work through the initial signs of heat stress and not avail themselves of the shade, water, and break time that the Fair Food Program requires participating farms to provide:

Meanwhile, this one touches on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the fields and the hostile work environment it creates, whether coming from supervisors or fellow workers: 

Armed with these new tools, the CIW education team has spent the first weeks of June on the first of multiple summer trips beyond the state of Florida.  To give you a better sense of this essential educational process that lies at the very foundation of the Fair Food Program, we bring you a slideshow of photos directly from the fields of from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina:


A chilling reminder of farm labor conditions in Mexico: 80 farmworkers go missing after reporting labor abuses in the state of Chihuahua…

Meanwhile, at last month’s annual meeting, Wendy’s execs tell shareholders concerned about labor rights abuses that the company is “perfectly happy with the quality and taste of the tomatoes [we are sourcing] from Mexico.”And OSU administrators reward their corporate neighbor’s callous indifference…Late last month, news broke of the disappearance of 80 indigenous Mexican farmworkers who vanished from a farm near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after they reported illegal wage deductions for food and housing that cut in half their already desperately low wages.  When the authorities arrived to the farm to investigate the complaint, all 80 workers had disappeared, along with the unidentified recruiter who […]

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BREAKING: Faith leaders announce month-long rolling fast to “prayerfully enjoin Wendy’s to stand with farmworkers in creating dignity in the fields”!

Faith leaders: “The faith community intends to work tirelessly with our ecumenical and interfaith partners to ensure that [the Wendy’s] boycott will be effective…”Just this morning, the Alliance for Fair Food announced a breaking development from the burgeoning Wendy’s Boycott:  Building on the spring’s historic fasts by student leaders across the country in support of the Boycott, the faith community of Florida will be taking up the mantle and launching their own rolling fast in just under two weeks from today.Here is the announcement, in full, from the powerful branch of faith leaders in the Fair Food Nation:Hungry for Farmworker Justice: Florida […]

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TODAY: Vermont dairy workers, consumer allies march on Ben & Jerry’s factory!

Marchers will deliver powerful letter from national human rights organizations including ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Columbia University Law School Human Rights Clinic, and Human Rights Watch, calling on Ben & Jerry’s to sign Milk with Dignity agreement without further delay!Show YOUR support for Vermont’s Migrant Justice by joining the photo petition on social media today!As dawn broke this morning, dairy workers from Vermont — accompanied by their families, local consumer allies, and human rights leaders from across the country, including the CIW’s Lucas Benitez — kicked off a 13-mile march from the Vermont State House in Burlington to the iconic […]

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Shareholder lawsuit against Wendy’s heating up!…

Attorney for shareholder: “This is so irrational, so extreme.  They should not be allowed to profit from slavery.”In a potentially significant new development, a lawsuit filed by a Wendy’s shareholder in October had a hearing in federal court late last month on Wendy’s motion to dismiss, and the arguments went to the very heart of the growing boycott against the fast-food giant.An article from May 30 in Law360 reported on the proceedings, explaining that the lawsuit was filed last fall because, according to the complaint:As a direct result of Wendy’s failure to join the FFP, the company’s goodwill and reputation […]

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CNN on FFP, Part III: “When we get calls from outside the Fair Food Program, it is heartbreaking”…

CNN Freedom Project: “There are roughly 30,000 people currently working on Fair Food Program farms and receiving all the protections and benefits outlined in the agreements.  But, there’s still a long way to go to bringing the rest of the country onboard.”Today we bring you the third and final installment of the extraordinary CNN report on the Fair Food Program, “How America’s ‘ground-zero’ for modern slavery was cleaned up by workers’ group.”  This third video focuses on the history of the CIW’s anti-slavery efforts, and on the development and expansion of the Fair Food Program as the principal means for eliminating […]

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Wendy’s Board Chairman and billionaire investor Nelson Peltz to rabbis: “I have plenty of rabbis in my life…”

Rabbis to Peltz: “Mr. Peltz had better prepare himself to have more and more rabbis in his life.”T’ruah:  “Each day that you continue to turn your back on farmworkers, and on our shared Jewish commitments to liberation from slavery, fair wages, and dignified working conditions, more and more rabbis will call on you — and Wendy’s — to forswear exploitation and support human rights…”“… The first principle enshrined in the opening chapter of the Torah teaches us that every human being is created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God; therefore each person deserves to be treated with equal and […]

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CNN on FFP, Part II: “Have you ever wondered how your tomatoes get to the grocery store?”

CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo on Wendy’s Boycott: “Sooner or later, Wendy’s will come to the table and sign a Fair Food agreement, and then we will be on the same side, all fighting for justice together.”Today we bring you the second installment in CNN’s remarkable three-part video report on the Fair Food Program.  Click on the video above to watch Part II, or check it out on CNN’s website (scroll down to the video entitled “Slavery in the food supply chain”).In Part I, we saw how the Fair Food Program is changing workers’ lives in the fields every day, focusing on […]

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CNN on Fair Food Program: “How America’s ‘ground-zero’ for modern slavery was cleaned up by workers’ group…”

Alejandrina Carrera, worker on FFP farm: “You’re not going to be harassed, you’re not going to be insulted, you’re not going to be forced to work. There’s more respect now.”In an exceptional video series, CNN Freedom Project lifts up FFP as “most comprehensive social responsibility program in U.S. agriculture”…This week, the award-winning team at the CNN Freedom Project — a new series designed to “amplify the voices of the victims of modern-day slavery, highlight success stories and help unravel the tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life” — turned its spotlight on the CIW and the Fair Food Program, and the result is nothing short […]

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A Profile in Cowardice…

President Drake, OSU Administration take a stand against students, faculty, faith leaders, international labor rights experts and farmworkers to renew Wendy’s contract for three more years;Administration waits until school year over, students safely at home, to announce decision;Students call for Fair Food Nation to join national call-in action to President Drake’s office today!Last Thursday, Amanda Ferguson, an OSU grad student and one of the student fasters this past March, received the following email from Jay Kassey, Senior Vice President for Administration and Planning at OSU: Dear Amanda,Ohio State worked with Wendy’s actively for two years as it developed a new Code of […]

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Part One: The Fair Food Nation makes the case for real human rights at Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting!

Remarkable drama unfolds both inside and outside of Wendy’s normally staid annual gathering as farmworker, student, faith, and community representatives of the Fair Food Nation take a stand for real human rights protections in fast-food giant’s produce supply chain!Today we bring you Part One of our two-part report from an extraordinary day of action at Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting this past Tuesday at the company’s corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.  In Part One, we will relate the events of the day — from the wide-ranging debate inside the meeting to the spirited protest outside — with a first-hand report from the Alliance for […]

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REMINDER: Join the mobilization for the Wendy’s Shareholder Meeting next week!

As farmworkers and allies hit the road for next week’s Wendy’s Shareholder meeting, we need YOU to keep the pressure up on the fast-food holdout!Next Tuesday, May 23rd, Wendy’s Corporation will hold its annual shareholder meeting in Columbus, Ohio.  It is the moment when shareholders from across the United States huddle with the company’s leadership to hear the latest updates on how the fast-food giant is faring.  No doubt, Wendy’s executives will trot out what they consider to be their prize accomplishments from the past year: putting the final touches on the company’s freshly-modernized brand makeover, standing out in a crowded social media landscape, […]

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Rolling student fast of 2017 takes its place in storied annals of fight for Fair Food…

Weeklong fast at Ohio State University tapped into Dr. King’s “power in the universe that works for justice” and inspired a month-long movement on over a dozen college campuses;Fast forges new leaders for the fight ahead, lays the groundwork for a student-led surge in the Wendy’s Boycott this fall! A little historical context…Following the Montgomery Bus Boycott victory in 1956 — a year-long campaign that marked the first significant triumph of Dr. Martin Luther King’s methods of creative non-violence — Dr. King was invited to speak at the University of California at Berkeley.  The speech he delivered that day, June 4th, 1957, laid out […]

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ACTION ALERT! The Wendy’s shareholder meeting is just days away and the Fair Food Nation needs your help!…

Call-ins, postcards, protests… We need YOU to join farmworkers and fellow allies in mobilizing for the Wendy’s Shareholder meeting on May 23rd!In just a few weeks, Wendy’s will hold its annual shareholder meeting at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio on May 23rd.  And for the fourth year running, Wendy’s executives and shareholders will be forced to confront the urgent, moral question posed by farmworkers and consumers of conscience: How much longer will the fast-food giant remain on the wrong side of history when it comes to social responsibility in its supply chain?  Ever since the launch of the Wendy’s campaign in 2013, tomato pickers from […]

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Florida United Methodist Church Bishop Kenneth Carter, cabinet members visit Immokalee, meet with CIW, Fair Food Program grower!

On Monday, Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. and the cabinet of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church kicked off a two-day tour of the Conference’s missional areas across the state of Florida.  And where did this estimable team of Methodist Church leaders choose to launch their tour?  Right here in the CIW’s hometown of Immokalee, birthplace of the Fair Food movement!  With a delegation including all nine district superintendents charged with leading nearly 700 congregations throughout the state, the visitors represented the tens of thousands of Florida Methodists who, throughout the long history of the Campaign for Fair Food, have put their […]

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“If they did it, shouldn’t everyone?…”

You’re More Powerful Than You Think by Eric Liu⎢Book Trailer from Citizen Film. CIW, Campaign for Fair Food celebrated in prologue of new book on democratic participation and organizing for social justice!Success of workers in Immokalee proof that, “You’re more powerful than you think”…Eric Liu, the author of a new book on how to make your voice heard in the decisions that affect your life, titled “You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen,” needed a story for his prologue that would capture his message that profound social change is possible no matter what your circumstances.  So he […]

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