Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of the General Assembly 100 Witherspoon St. ~ Louisville, KY ~ 40202

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Office of the General Assembly
100 Witherspoon St. ~ Louisville, KY ~ 40202

November 17, 2010

Commendation of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange on their Historic Fair Food Agreement

On behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) we commend the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange on their groundbreaking agreement to work together to advance human rights for farmworkers laboring in Florida’s tomato fields.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) endeavors to cultivate and observe socially responsible purchasing practices within our own institution, among our members and within our broader society. And so we celebrate the fundamental progress this agreement represents for farmworkers and the tomato industry.

This concrete, rigorous and comprehensive implementation of advances in worker rights is demonstrating that the tomato industry can be competitive and accountable, productive and fair. More than a vision, it incarnates fair food principles into verifiable and measurable changes in operation bringing immediate benefits and contributing to lasting change.

The Apostle Paul’s image of the church as a body with many members who need one another to function well is an apt image for all human endeavor. All members are important and necessary. This agreement embodies a collaborative approach to ensuring a more modern and humane industry by drawing upon the unique power not only of farmworkers and growers but also of corporations and consumers. We each have our invaluable role to play in seeing that these bourgeoning advances reach their fullest potential.

Therefore we take this opportunity to call on the supermarket industry, in particular Publix, Kroger and Ahold, to join this growing partnership of corporations, growers, farmworkers and consumers. If fair food principles are to be fully realized for every farmworker across the industry, supermarkets must also embrace them. We are hopeful, that grocery industry leaders will step forward without delay and lend their support to this proven paradigm of social responsibility, so that fair food principles may be fully realized.

History is being made right now and we intend to work together until our food system flourishes by ensuring human rights and well-being. We applaud the agreement between the CIW and the FTGE for making critical strides toward that day.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with national offices in Louisville, KY, has a membership of 2.3 million in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Ms. Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the General Assembly Mission Council

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