Slavery is not just happening overseas. In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields. Chief assistant U.S. attorney Douglas Molloy once called Florida’s tomato fields “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States.
But we have a Recipe for Change. The Fair Food Program, developed by tomato pickers themselves through the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, establishes a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and serious sexual harassment on Florida’s tomato farms.
Help end modern-day slavery in U.S. tomato fields: Join us in asking the CEOs of major supermarket chains Publix, Ahold (owners of Stop & Shop, Giant and Martin’s) and Kroger to endorse the Fair Food Program, ensuring the tomatoes you buy are slave-free.
Subject: Help end modern-day slavery in U.S. tomato fields.
Just a few years ago, Florida's tomato fields were called "ground zero" for modern-day slavery in the United States. Over the past 15 years, seven cases of forced labor have been successfully prosecuted, resulting in more than 1,000 farmworkers restored to freedom.
Modern-day slavery is real, but so is the solution. Your company can take a stand against slavery and other human rights abuses in the tomato industry by joining the Fair Food Program.As a concerned consumer, I respectfully urge your company to sign a Fair Food agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. In taking this stand against abusive agricultural practices, including modern-day slavery, you will be joining major fast-food companies McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and Yum Brands, as well as foodservice providers Aramark, Sodexo, Compass Group and Bon Appetit Management Company, in addition to supermarket chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.The Fair Food Program, overseen by the independent Fair Food Standards Council, ensures humane working conditions by upholding a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and serious sexual harassment on Florida's tomato farms. * The Fair Food Program requires you to pay a small premium to ensure tomatoes are harvested by farmworkers living and working by humane standards (1.5 cents more per pound).* As importantly, the agreement commits you to buy your tomatoes from growers who comply with the standards of the Fair Food Program and not to buy from those who won't.I want to shop where I can support good corporate stewardship. You have the opportunity to be an industry leader in the effort to eradicate modern-day slavery and other abuses from the U.S. tomato supply chain.
Thank you for considering this request and doing your part to help end modern-day slavery.
All text and images © 2011 International Justice Mission.