Trader Joe’s: We’ll be fair. Trust us…
400+ marchers to TJ’s: Not so fast, Joe!
On Friday, October 21 — the very day of the big march on Trader Joe’s headquarters in Monrovia, CA — Trader Joe’s PR department issued a statement on the Campaign for Fair Food on the company’s website. The statement announced a new agreement, between Trader Joe’s and two Florida tomato growers, that, in Trader Joe’s opinion, resolved once and for all the concerns of the farmworkers who pick their tomatoes:
|“As we reported to you in May, we have received inquiries regarding claims made by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) about our purchasing practices related to Florida-grown tomatoes. In May we indicated we were paying a surcharge of a penny per pound through wholesalers and intended to increase worker pay for those harvesting tomatoes that are sold at Trader Joe’s. However, the CIW, an entity with which we have no business relationship, continues to demand that we sign an agreement with them that is unacceptable to us for reasons we presented in May.
We buy approximately 3 Million pounds of tomatoes from farms in Florida… To affect a solution that gets increased compensation to the workers we have contracted directly with the two growers who employ the workers that harvest the tomatoes that we sell…
We believe this solution effectively addresses the concerns related to this matter that have been expressed by many customers.” read more
- Photo report from Friday’s huge march on Trader Joe’s headquarters in Monrovia
- CIW answer TJ’s latest effort to circumvent farmworkers, avoid a verifiable commitment to Fair Food
Press coverage of the march in Monrovia was strong, as well. Here are some links:
- “Florida farmworkers and their allies demand higher wages at Trader Joe’s,” Pasadena Star-News, 10/21/11
- “Hundreds March To Trader Joe’s Headquarters In Monrovia To Demand A One Penny Per Pound Raise For Florida Farm Workers,” OC Weekly, 10/21/11
- “Farm Workers Protest Outside Trader Joe’s Monrovia Headquarters,” MonroviaPatch.com, 10/21/11
And stay tuned for more updates in the days ahead from a spectacular Supermarket Week of Action around the country!