News Archives


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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A Tale of Two Roadside Farm Stands…

Or why Wendy’s is not like you.And why you should join us for the Return to Human Rights Tour this March 16-29!Join us, if you will, in a brief thought experiment: What would you do if you were in the market for some fresh tomatoes and you happened upon a roadside farm stand — an idyllic, pastoral produce stand, its shelves piled high with fruits and vegetables picked fresh in fields right next door — selling red, ripe tomatoes at a great price?You’d stop in a heartbeat, right?  Who doesn’t love farm fresh produce?But what if, while you’re standing at the cash […]

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Now we know: Explosive new article in Harper’s Magazine reveals Wendy’s tomato supplier in Mexico…

… And the supplier’s history is not pretty: Bioparques was the subject of a massive slavery prosecution in 2013.Harper’s Magazine released an explosive new article this week in its online pages that did some digging into Wendy’s tomato supply chain in Mexico, and what Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Washington Editor, found out was in fact quite disturbing.  [Unless you haven’t visited this site in a while, you’ll recall that Wendy’s stopped buying tomatoes from Florida altogether following the implementation of the Fair Food Program here and shifted its purchases to Mexico.  Wendy’s decision to abandon its Florida suppliers was one of the principal reasons for […]

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Part Three: A 21st century Christmas Carol for the food industry?…

[hupso title=”PART 3: A 21st century #Christmas Carol for the food industry?” url=””] Business as usual is no longer an option for the US food industry in the face of outrageous human rights violations in Mexico’s produce industry; Food industry leaders must leverage their unequaled purchasing power — reward ethical producers, reject those unwilling to implement real reforms — to raise the bar for human rights in Mexico. Remembering that today is the eleventh day of Christmas (making this third and final series installment still timely)… Before we conclude our three-part series on the LA Times investigation into labor rights violations in Mexico’s fields […]

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Part Two: A 21st century Christmas Carol for the food industry?…

[hupso title=”Part 2: 21st century #Christmas Carol for the food industry?” url=”“] The market must be a force for real social change, not complicit in grower-led efforts to sweep child labor, violence against workers, and debt servitude under the rug; Real social responsibility in Mexico’s fields will remain a distant dream until country’s deeper ills are addressed, workers free to play leading role in reforms… First, a quick review. In Part One of this three-part series, we looked at the response by produce industry insider Jim Prevor, also known as the “Perishable Pundit,” to the appalling labor conditions in Mexico’s produce […]

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Newsweek: “The Fair Food Program Should Be Extended to Mexico”…

[hupso title=”.@Newsweek: The @FairFoodProgram should be extended to Mexico…” url=””] This month’s LA Times investigative series, “Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for U.S. tables,”  sent shockwaves through the food industry with its explosive, multi-media documentation of appalling abuses on Mexican produce farms ranging from widespread child labor to modern-day slavery.  Given the key role Mexican produce exports have come to play in the US food market over the past two decades — with Mexican tomatoes, for example, found today on everything from fast-food burgers and subs to salad plates in celebrity chef restaurants from LA to New York City — the […]

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Updates: Human rights crisis in Mexico and “Food Chains” release countdown begins…

[hupso title=”UPDATES: #HumanRights crisis in #Iguala #Mexico & @FoodChainsFilm release countdown begins…” url=”“] “Enough!  Mexico Is Ready to Explode”…   Two weeks ago we brought you an extended analysis of the human rights crisis in Mexico and its impact on the agricultural industry there.  In a post entitled “Fear and Fair Cannot Coexist,” we wrote: Mass graves.  Horribly disfigured corpses.  Police complicity in the ultraviolence of all-powerful drug gangs. Since 2005, stories like these have played out across Mexico’s headlines day after day, month after month, year after year.  But the details of last month’s mass killing and disappearance of […]

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“Publix must turn from its pride and arrogance and turn towards its partners in business, the workers from Immokalee…”

[hupso_hide][hupso title=”1000 marchers in #Lakeland: @Publix must turn from its pride and arrogance…” url=”″] 24-hr vigil at Publix ends with march of 1,000 through downtown Lakeland!   The 10-day, 10-city Now Is the Time Tour ended Saturday with a massive march through the heart of Lakeland, Florida.  Responding to the marchers’ infectious high spirits and passionate call for human rights in Florida’s fields, the townspeople embraced the march with honks, waves, and thumbs-up, leaning out car windows and pouring out of homes and businesses along the three-mile route.  Lakeland’s response sent a clear signal that, even in Publix’s hometown, the […]

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