News Archives

Worker-driven Social Responsibility

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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Wake Forest Law Review: “Preventing Forced Labor in Corporate Supply Chains: The Fair Food Program and Worker-driven Social Responsibility”

Newly published article provides most comprehensive analysis to date of CIW’s award-winning Fair Food Program and the Worker-driven Social Responsibility paradigm…When the Wake Forest Law Review decided earlier this year to dedicate an entire issue to the problem of human trafficking, they solicited an article from the CIW on the Fair Food Program and its unique success in preventing forced labor in agriculture.  That article, entitled “Preventing Forced Labor in Corporate Supply Chains: The Fair Food Program and Worker-driven Social Responsibility,” was published this month.  As soon as it was, it became the most thorough analysis to date of the FFP’s history, […]

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The Worker-driven Social Responsibility model hits new milestone, continues its expansion in world of business and human rights!

Workers Rights Consortium reports groundbreaking Bangladesh Accord extended to 2021; renewal “product of the recognition, by all of the parties, of the Accord’s effectiveness,” confirmation of power of WSR approach…Meanwhile: Migrant Justice receives the National Education Association’s prestigious Cesar Chavez Civil and Human Rights Award; pressure increases on Ben & Jerry’s to finalize agreement to implement WSR-based Milk with Dignity Program in ice cream icon’s dairy supply chain.As the Fair Food Program consolidates the unprecedented human rights gains secured for tens of thousands of farmworkers on participating farms in Florida and up the East Coast — and plots a course for continued expansion into […]

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Labor expert: “There’s no reason this model can’t work across the United States…”

“A SHIFT IN THOUGHT: Florida’s tomato pickers took on some of the country’s biggest retailers and fast-food chains – and won, transforming working conditions in the tomato fields. Now they and their allies are trying to take the fight to new fields and new industries.”  Christian Science Monitor article on CIW’s Worker-driven Social Responsibility modelIn two days, workers from Immokalee and their allies will pack up piles of protest art and provisions for two weeks on the road as they head out on the big Return to Human Rights Tour.  Along the way they will stop in over a dozen cities, […]

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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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Fair Food Program receives highest recommendation in newly released evaluation of seven food justice certification programs!

Fair World Project — a project of the Organic Consumers Association, the nation’s largest network of green and ethical consumers — releases powerful new report looking into the standards, enforcement, and impact of best-known certification programs…The CIW’s Fair Food Program received the highest recommendation in a new study of seven of the leading certification programs in the country carried out by Fair World Project, a project of the Organic Consumers Association.  The report “strongly recommends” the Fair Food Program, along with the Agricultural Justice Project, “for their strength in key areas as well as for their involvement of workers in all levels of the […]

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CIW Education team wraps up second summer of Fair Food Program education beyond Florida…

Nearly 1,000 tomato harvesters trained as frontline monitors of their own rights under the Fair Food Program in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey… Following June’s worker-to-worker education trip to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, the CIW education team continued its trek north and wrapped up 2016’s northern education season this month with a tour of tomato farms in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, where they trained hundreds of new workers on their rights under the Fair Food Code of Conduct.Consolidating the expansion of the Program’s human rights protections into northern states — a process that began one year ago — is no small feat.  In the […]

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Part Two: What is a corporation to do if it is looking to partner with a real social responsibility program?

We concluded the first installment of this two-part series, entitled “The Enforcement Imperative at the Heart of Worker-driven Social Responsibility,” with this summary:To be effective, any social accountability program must employ: 1) worker education about their rights and remedies, 2) a confidential, timely, retaliation-free complaint resolution mechanism, and 3) regular and thorough audits.  And all of those mechanisms must be backed by the “power of the purchasing order.” If any of those is missing, real change will not happen.In other words, if someone is trying to sell you a car without an engine, a drive shaft, and four wheels, it’s not a […]

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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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Got Milk with Dignity? Vermont’s Migrant Justice putting finishing touches on breakthrough dairy program…

From Florida tomatoes to Vermont dairy, Worker-driven Social Responsibility in the spotlight at food systems summit…Last week, members of the CIW, Migrant Justice, and the Fair Food Standards Council came together for a special presentation at the 5th Annual Vermont Food Systems Summit in Burlington.  The panel, titled “Worker-driven Social Responsibility for Fair Food,” brought together two unique perspectives.  While the CIW and FFSC unpacked important lessons from their five years of experience implementing the Fair Food Program in tomato fields from Florida to New Jersey, Migrant Justice brought a decidedly more local focus to the gathering of New England food […]

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