Target: Dan Bane, CEO of Trader Joe’s
Goal: Thank Trader Joe’s for supporting improved labor conditions and equal rights for farmworkers in Florida’s tomato industry
Trader Joe’s recently signed a Fair Food Agreement to support the rights of Florida’s tomato growers and ensure fair labor conditions. This petition praises the company’s participation in the agreement to develop a more sustainable tomato industry in Florida through cooperation with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).
The CIW is a grassroots organization that fights for improved labor conditions and rights for farmworkers in Florida’s tomato industry. This demographic largely consists of immigrants in low-wage positions. For more than a decade, the CIW has been working to persuade retailers to sign agreements to improve working conditions for tomato workers and ensure they have equal rights and voice in the workplace.
Following a year-long campaign of petitions and demonstrations at their corporate headquarters and individual stores, Trader Joe’s reaffirmed the company’s commitment to improving labor standards across all levels of their tomato supply chain. The agreement will provide workers with a raise from $50 to $80 a day and guarantee them basic rights shared by virtually all U.S. employees. As listed by TakePart, these include “accurate time keeping, clearly defined grievance procedures, safety education, and protection from violence and sexual harassment in the fields.” Consequently, the grocery store will pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes.
According to an announcement by CIW, “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.” Low wages and poor working conditions for farmworkers are a result of the corporate food industry’s insistence on the lowest possible prices for large volumes of produce. This program works to create a more socially responsible produce industry in the U.S. by increasing wages through a small price premium and adhering to a set of labor standards established collaboratively among farmworkers, tomato growers, and the food industry leaders.
Trader Joe’s has become the second major food retailer to sign on to the Fair Food Agreement, following Whole Foods. Gerardo Reyes of the CIW stated, “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.” Sign below to applaud Trader Joe’s for signing the Fair Food Agreement to ensure better conditions for farmworkers in Florida.
Dear Mr. Bane,
Farmworkers have been systematically underpaid and unfairly treated for too long. We commend Trader Joe’s for signing the Fair Food Agreement and upholding its reputation as a company that values and respects its workers on all levels of its supply chain.
Your participation in the Fair Food Program will provide tomato workers with a wage increase and equal rights that are entitled to all other U.S. employees. This move represents a crucial step in the right direction toward creating a more socially just food industry, as well as a call to action for others to recognize that the future of the industry depends on increasing accountability and fairness for farmworkers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: hihaivo via Flickr