Trader Joe’s and CIW Sign Fair Food Agreement

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the grocery chain Trader Joe’s announced yesterday, February 9, 2012, that they have signed an agreement that formalizes the ways in which Trader Joe’s will work with the CIW and Florida tomato growers to support the CIW’s Fair Food Program.

CIW’s Fair Food Program combines the Fair Food Code of Conduct — a set of labor standards developed in a collaboration among farm workers, tomato growers, and the food industry leaders who purchase Florida tomatoes — with a small price premium to help improve tomato pickers’ 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 farm workers 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.”

Important Notice from CIW: The CIW thanks the tens of thousands of Fair Food activists around the country who helped make this tremendous step forward possible, especially those who had planned actions in over 40 cities this coming weekend. Naturally, in light of today’s great news, the CIW is calling off the actions planned for the new Trader Joe’s store in Naples. Similarly, we ask that all other actions planned for this weekend be cancelled, and that organizers and consumers who were planning to attend instead take a moment to congratulate Trader Joe’s for having joined the Fair Food Program.

Onward to Publix, and the rest of the supermarket industry…

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