Trader Joe's presents itself as a hip, progressive place to shop, full of vegetarian options and free from the plethora of hot-orange processed snacks found elsewhere.
But Trader Joe's refuses to take one very critical progressive step and join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) Campaign for Fair Food. And because of their refusal, you might just be buying tomatoes produced under sweatshop conditions -- or worse -- from those friendly, Hawaiian shirt-wearing joes.
Both everyday 'sweatshop' conditions as well as the extreme of modern-day slavery are reality for many farmworkers right here in the U.S. In Florida, well over 1,000 farmworkers have been freed from forced labor operations in the past 15 years.
The ultimate solution to modern-day slavery in agribusiness lies on the "demand side" of the U.S. produce market -- the major food-buying corporations that profit from the artificially-low cost of U.S. produce picked by workers in sweatshop and, in the worst cases, slavery conditions. Ultimately, those modern mega corporations must leverage their vast resources and market influence as major produce buyers to clean up slavery and other labor abuses in their supply chains once and for all.
This is where you come in. As a consumer, you have the power to ensure the workers who grow and harvest your food are getting fair pay for their work and are being treated with dignity. The CIW's Campaign for Fair Food harnesses the purchasing power of the food industry for the betterment of farm worker wages and working conditions.
Please, ask Trader Joe's to join the campaign.
- Director, Marketing and Sales
- SVP, Operations
- Art Director, Marketing
- Public Relations Director
As a Trader Joe's customer and advocate for fair labor practices, I would like to ask Trader Joe's to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) Campaign for Fair Food.
Modern-day slavery is a reality for many farm workers right here in the U.S. In Florida, well over 1,000 people have been identified as trafficked in fields and on farms, picking the food we eat every day.
The logic behind the Campaign for Fair Food is simple. Major corporate buyers like Trader Joe's purchase a tremendous volume of fruits and vegetables, leveraging their buying power to demand the lowest possible prices from their suppliers. This, in turn, exerts a powerful downward pressure on wages and working conditions in these suppliers' operations. It's a cycle which sometimes results in human trafficking. But the Campaign for Fair Food aims to reverse this trend by harnessing the purchasing power of the food industry for the betterment of farm worker wages and working conditions. However, they need your company’s participation to do it.
Please, join the Campaign for Fair Food and take a stand in support of farm workers' rights and an end to human trafficking in agriculture in the U.S. Your decision on this issue will affect my choice of grocery store. I hope to continue shopping at a Trader Joe's company that supports fair labor and is actively working to eradicate slavery.
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