In 2009, Compass Group announced a partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to pay an additional 1.5 cents per pound for all the tomatoes we purchase annually in Florida, with 1 cent per pound being passed from the supplier directly to the harvesters. This additional money represents as much as a 64% wage for some harvesters who pick the tomatoes that go to Compass Group. We also signed a ‘Code of Conduct’ designed to improve working conditions and give harvesters opportunity to advance beyond the field. This agreement was hailed by both U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, who said it was “a huge victory” for harvesters – and by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Food Chains, produced by Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser and directed by Sanjay Rawal, tells the story of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) – an intrepid and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida – who have developed a remarkable program to end poverty and exploitation in the tomato fields of Florida called The Fair Food Program.
The Fair Food Program is a unique partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. It harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.
Compass Group is proud to have a seat on the Board of Director of The Fair Food Standards Council representing all buyers.
The Fair Food Program has been called “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” in a Washington Post op-ed, “the best workplace monitoring program” in the U.S. in the New York Times, and a “smart mix of tools” that “could serve as a model elsewhere in the world” by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights.
Food Chains , a story of hope and promise to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain, opens nationwide November 21. For more information or to find a screening near you, please visit www.foodchainsfilm.com.