June 7, 2012
Fair Food Feedback: 65,000 people call on Chipotle to sign agreement with CIW now in massive email campaign! Comments offer some food for thought...
CIW members join Fair Food activists in New York City this past weekend for a lively protest outside a Chipotle restaurant in Manhattan. The protest was organized in conjunction with allies at ROC-New York.
The Top Ten List of Falsehoods, Fibs, and Fabrications in Chipotle's Answer to a Customer's Email about the Campaign for Fair Food is a wrap, but during its two-month run the fine folks at sumofus.org ran a companion email campaign through which Fair Food activists around the country could send Chipotle CEO Steve Ells a message demanding that the burrito king quit stalling on farm labor justice. The email text read:
"Mr. Ells - Please sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now, to ensure workers are paid and treated fairly for the tomatoes they pick for your salsa. Otherwise I won't be able to believe your claim of serving 'food with integrity'. Thank you." see the e-action in its entirety here
65,000 people ended up sending emails to Mr. Ells, but not all were satisfied with sending the generic text. Scores of people added their own personal messages to Chipotle's CEO, and they were, taken together, a powerful expression of consumer discontent with the food system's indifference to unconscionable farm labor conditions at the bottom of their supply chains. We have compiled just a few of the messages to share with you here today, so sit back and enjoy as a chorus of consumers calls on Chipotle to stand behind its claim to "integrity" and stand with workers in Immokalee in building a more modern, more humane Florida tomato industry:
"I chose Chipotle because of its alleged ethical commitment and this refusal to participate in the CIW undermines that. Continued refusal would only lead me to believe that any further claims of ethical goodwill are patently false. Why lose the brand value you've built? Thank you." — S N, Berkeley Heights, NJ, United States
"Mr. Ells - I am so disappointed that this company has not yet signed the agreement. I am an avid supporter of Chipotle due to its gathering of food sources and support of those that provide it. Now, I realize this may all be commercial hype. While I wait to see how Chipotle responds to this action, I will not be making purchases with your company. I anxiously await your "right" response. PLEASE inform the community in which you are located on your decision. You know others will when you won't... I hope to be a customer again and soon!" — C L, Erie, PA, United States
"I am a regular Chipotle customer and a big fan because I respect the idea of 'food with integrity.' However, if it is only an idea, I will have to reconsider my loyalty. Thank you." — L W, Nashville, TN, United States
"Mr. Ells - I am so disappointed! I chose to drive from VT to Saratoga yesterday, Mother's Day!, to shop and eat at Chipotle for lunch. There is a big sign in your restaurant about environmental initiatives like recycling the food baskets. Please be ethical all the way around." — S G, Middletown Springs, VT, United States
"Mr. Ells, as a customer and fan of Chipotle, I'm upset to learn that your company has, despite its promise of serving 'food with integrity', refused to sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Please reinstate talks with CIW, and commit to the Fair Food Agreement. You'd be serving as a paragon for other companies to follow, and would keep my business and customer satisfaction. Thank you for your time." --- S K, Allen, TX, United States.
'Being from Colorado, I've always been proud of Chipotle's commitment to good food, raised and harvested in a good way... the way of harmony. Now I hear that you are not working with groups that serve these poor farm workers.. and give us no guarantee that the food is being picked in the least harmful matter, you want me for a costumer again, you will change this, if not, I have other places I can get my food." — R W, denver, CO, United States
"Mr. Ells - A Chipotle just opened across the street from my office: I was looking forward to having a new option for lunch, so reading about your refusal to commit to the Fair Food Agreement comes as a real disappointment. Needless to say, I will not be introducing Chipotle into my lunch options given its unethical practice in regards to Florida farm workers. Please reverse this and sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now." — M Ll, West Somerville, MA, United States
"I am from Florida, and I believe if you saw the living conditions of so many of the workers you would understand how important this agreement is to improve the lives of the families that do this work. I appreciate your consideration." — K A, Richardson, TX, United States
"People at our company order from chipotle at least 3 times per week, rarely less than $33.00 to feed 4 people per order. There is an astonishing amount of information on your website pertaining to ethically-sourced ingredients. The fair food agreement is a step towards insuring those who do the labor in the fields can begin to earn a living wage for their work. Therefore, please do the right thing, and sign on. To think that there is any unethical treatment to anyone/anything anywhere in your supply chain is unfortunate." — C F, Groveport, OH, United States
"Mr. Ells - Please sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now, to ensure workers are paid and treated fairly for the tomatoes they pick for your salsa. It's been more than 60 years since "Harvest of Shame!" It's time." — Dr. B Tulsa, OK, United States
"I am additionally a Chipotle stockholder, for the sole reason that you are supposedly an ethical company. I will sell my shares and move on if you don't take the appropriate action on this matter. " — K T, Dallas, TX, United States
"Mr. Ells - It's the right thing to do, regardless of any mitigating factors. Please put yourself in a picker's place and think about that." — D C, Portland, OR, United States
"Mr. Ells: My purchases of food and most goods are influenced by the business practices of the organization I'm purchasing from. This includes the treatment of both their employees and the employees of their suppliers." — E K-M, Downingtown, PA, United States
We'll stop there for now, but there are many, many, many more...