President Jimmy Carter writes letter to CIW following 2013 Roosevelt Freedom from Want Medal

“My hope is that this will become a model for social responsibility within the agricultural industry.”

Well-wishers from Michael Pollan to Mark Bittman weigh in after announcement of award…

Last week’s news of the CIW’s selection for the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom from Want Medal brought many kind words of congratulations from around the worlds of human rights and food justice. Rather than keep the notes and tweets to ourselves, we thought we’d share them with the rest of the Fair Food Nation, since they are directed as much to everyone who has fought for Fair Food over these many years as they are for those of us here in Immokalee.

Chief among the well-wishers was President Jimmy Carter who, among his many impressive pursuits in defense of human rights since leaving office, has been a longtime observer of — and frequent participant in — the CIW’s efforts to advance farm labor rights in Florida’s fields. His eloquent letter is included here above in its entirety. We are proud to count President Carter among our friends and honored to know that he continues to follow our efforts as the Fair Food movement grows and breaks new ground in human rights and corporate social responsibility.

Best-selling author Michael Pollan also sent a kind message of support of the CIW’s news to his legion of Twitter followers, as did New York Times columnist Mark Bittman:

We’ll close this update with the words of another leader of the food justice movement, Anna Lappe, who wrote on the website foodmyths.org:

“… We’re thrilled to see the CIW gaining attention for the relentless organizing and community-based action that has paved the way for a new day in Florida agriculture. We feel lucky to count the CIW among our Coalition for Food MythBusters, offering the project an invaluable voice on the reality that farmworkers face and the strides that can be made when we are organized and persistant in the struggle to reclaim human rights. The CIW is an inspiration to the movement for justice in the fields and far beyond. Learn more about their current campaign and help put pressure on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.

Well deserved, CIW. Look forward to more meaningful victories ahead for farmworkers and their families. Onward!” read more

Thanks to everyone who emailed, tweeted, and wrote to the CIW in the wake of last week’s announcement. Your words and continuing support for the Campaign for Fair Food mean the world to us and fuel our efforts here in Immokalee. We look forward to building on our success together thus far and to deepening and expanding the gains we have won so that, one day, President Carter’s hope that the Fair Food Program be a model for the entire agricultural industry may come to be.

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