The White House recognized CIW’s Fair Food Program for fighting and preventing modern-day slavery.
At the first-ever White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking last week — an event that involved everyone from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State John Kerry — the CIW and the Fair Food Program were front and center.
The Fair Food Program was singled out in a major new report of recommendations to the President as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover — and prevent – modern-day slavery, a fight President Obama himself called “one of the great human rights causes of our time.”
The report, by the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, was released in conjunction with the White House event. The Council is charged with “Identifying best practices and successful modes of delivering social services,” and with “Making recommendations to the President and the Administration on changes in policies, programs, and practices.” Here’s the excerpt from their report, entitled, “Building Partnerships to Eradicate Modern-Day Slavery,” citing the Fair Food Program:
“EFFORTS TO COMBAT SLAVERY IN OUR FOOD AND PRODUCTS:
One of the most successful and innovative programs we researched is the Fair Food Program, developed by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and promoted in partnerships with T’ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights North America) and the International Justice Mission, among others.
Slavery and other human rights abuses are an ongoing threat 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. Over the past 15 years, seven cases of forced labor slavery have been successfully prosecuted, resulting in more than 1,000 people freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.
The Fair Food program, developed by tomato pickers themselves through CIW, establishes a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor, and serious sexual abuse on Florida’s tomato farms. Companies that join the Fair Food Program agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound) and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards—and away from those who will not. Major fast food companies, like McDonalds and Subway, and supermarket chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have already endorsed the Fair Food Program.” read more
Read the full report here.