Finally! Trader Joe’s Signs Fair Food Agreement

By Tara Lohan, AlterNet
Posted on February 9, 2012
Finally! Trader Joe’s Signs on to Fair Food Agreement for Farm Workers

This has been a long time coming, but today the Coalition for Immokalee Workers, which has been working for the rights of farm workers, announced that Trader Joe’s has agreed to take part in CIW’s Fair Food Program to support the rights of Florida’s tomato growers. CIW has spent years bringing horrific abuses of farm workers to light and working with large retailers to make commitments to secure produce that is grown under fair conditions. (You can read a story we published here about the transformation of the Florida tomato industry; and another one here about CIW’s efforts to get Chipotle to join the Fair Food agreement.

Here is the information that CIW released today about Trader Joe’s:

The Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking approach to social responsibility in the US produce industry that combines the Fair Food Code of Conduct – a set of labor standards developed in a unique collaboration among farmworkers, tomato growers, and the food industry leaders who purchase Florida tomatoes – with a small price premium to help improve harvesters’ wages. The goal of the Fair Food Program is to promote the development of a sustainable Florida tomato industry that advances both the human rights of farmworkers and the long-term interests of Florida tomato growers.

“We are truly happy today to welcome Trader Joe’s aboard the Fair Food Program,” said Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. “Trader Joe’s is cherished by its customers for a number of reasons, but high on that list is the company’s commitment to ethical purchasing practices. With this agreement, Trader Joe’s reaffirms that commitment and sends a strong — and timely — message of support to the Florida growers who are choosing to do the right thing, investing in improved labor standards, despite the challenges of a difficult marketplace and tough economic times.”

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