News Archives


CIW speaks at OSCE conference in Moscow on stopping human trafficking…

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) holds first-ever international conference on public private partnerships fighting human trafficking in collaboration with Russian Federation, identifies Worker-driven Social Responsibility as promising new prevention method in fight against human trafficking…Last September, CIW representatives were asked to speak on the Fair Food Program and the CIW’s anti-slavery efforts at the OSCE’s Conference on Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains in Berlin.  The conference was described as a “high-level event… part of the OSCE’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about the problem of labour exploitation in supply chains and to advocate for increased actions at the […]

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ANALYSIS: Lofty goals… or empty promises?

First draft of new industry-led initiative charts uncertain course toward “responsible labor practices” in US produce sector…Brief: There’s nothing like the “power of the purchasing order” for turning standards on paper into reality on the ground when violations of a code of conduct occur, and there’s nothing resembling that sort of market consequence with real teeth — yet — built into the produce industry’s recently released “Ethical Charter.”  Genuine, informed worker participation and real enforcement mechanisms will be imperative going forward if this new initiative is to have any hope of success in bringing meaningful human rights protections to the US and Mexican […]

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And you thought the presidential debates were maddening…

Wendy’s issues statement on boycott after months of silence.  Silence was better.As we write this on Wednesday evening, the nation prepares (and by “prepares” we mean curls into the fetal position on the couch in front of the TV…) for the third and final presidential debate.  But if you are like us and happened to catch Wendy’s new statement on the Fair Food movement’s national boycott, published yesterday on an obscure public relations blog dedicated to the discussion of Corporate Social Responsibility, then you were treated to a sort of pre-debate hors d’oeuvres plate, a similar mix of cheap innuendo, half-truths, and outright fabrications, just in […]

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The enforcement imperative at the heart of Worker-driven Social Responsibility…

Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) — the emerging paradigm for the protection of fundamental human rights in corporate supply chains born of the uniquely successful experience of the Fair Food Program — is founded on two distinct and equally important philosophical pillars: worker participation and an intense focus on enforcement.  The former gives WSR its name and its ability to identify and uncover the abuses most urgently felt by workers themselves.  The latter gives WSR its unrivaled power to eliminate those abuses.This is the first in a two-part series about the lesser-known of those two pillars, the enforcement focus — indeed mandate — of […]

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A Battle for the Soul of Social Responsibility…

Wendy’s new code of conduct is a prime example of the discredited standards-without-enforcement model of corporate social responsibility;Workers’ Voice Tour to contrast Wendy’s code with the proven success of the Fair Food Program and the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model…What would you do if you could cheat on your taxes and know that you would get away with it? Not just think you might get away with it if you’re lucky, but really know that no one is watching and there would be no consequences.  Would you do it?The answer is pretty obvious.  Nobody likes paying taxes.  And even many of those who think taxes […]

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Question: What are the three most important elements of a successful social responsibility program?

Answer:  1) Enforcement 2) Enforcement 3) EnforcementThe litany of brutal human rights abuses in corporate supply chains around the globe just keeps getting longer by the day, and more horrifying with each new exposé.Longtime readers of this site are familiar with the extensive history of labor abuse in America’s fields, including Florida’s own “Harvest of Shame.”  From federal prosecutors declaring Florida “ground zero for modern-day slavery” (in the wake of seven prosecutions of forced labor operations that liberated well over 1,200 workers since 1995), to the recent PBS Frontline series “Rape in the Fields,” to the even more recent $17 million EEOC judgment against the […]

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Kroger executives reject Fair Food Program (again), offer yet more empty answers at annual shareholder meeting…

[hupso title=”.@Kroger executives reject @FairFoodProgram (again) at Annual Shareholder Meeting” url=””]Kroger CEO: “We expect all our suppliers… to follow our strict code of conduct…”Farmworkers and their consumer allies have attended countless shareholder meetings over the years, from the very first shareholder actions back in the Taco Bell Boycott days, to the Wendy’s annual meeting earlier this month in Dublin, Ohio.  But no company has received more visits to its shareholder meetings from the Fair Food Nation than Kroger, the nation’s second biggest grocery chain behind only Walmart.  Counting last week’s action in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fair Food activists have attended six straight Kroger […]

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“They treated us like slaves”…

[hupso title=”They treated us like slaves… 2nd installment of @latimes investigative report on devastating conditions in #Mexican tomato industry ” url=””] Devastating tale of criminal brutality and cruel indifference at one labor camp in Mexico’s tomato industry is a case study in the abject failure of the traditional model of Corporate Social Responsibility First things first.  If you haven’t done so already, put aside whatever else you might be doing at the moment and go read the full second installment of the explosive four-part investigative series in the LA Times entitled “A Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexican Farms, a Bounty on US Tables”.  Take your […]

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