Immokalee Workers Case Study

Good Essays
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is an example of people demanding entitlement to their health, well-being, and their human right to food. Their creation of the Fair Food Program proves that self determination of consumers can help foster self determination in the lives of farm workers. The reaction of Wendy’s management is upsetting but not unfamiliar to manual laborers. They have chosen monetary gain over basic comforts such as water, shade, bathroom access, and sexual assault prevention for the men and women working in the tomato fields in Florida.
Fortunately, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is an example of a successful grassroots organization. Through petitions, marches, and communication with large-scale buyers including Walmart, Sodexo, and Subway, the Fair Food Program has brought forth genuine accountability for farm working conditions at the meager cost of one additional cent per pound of tomatoes. What is exceptionally effective about this plan is the fact that it is legally binding: participating buyers must discontinue purchasing from any grower that does not follow the code of conduct. Maintaining standards is monitored through audits by the Fair Foods Standards Council, and workers are now provided with “Know Your Rights” booklets upon employment.
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If a grower loses all of its buyers because they are mistreating workers, there would be economic pressure to make positive changes. This cooperation between social sectors is an enormous step forward in the application of article 25 of the UDHR. As the Fair Food Program gains traction, it will be harder and harder for growers to sustain inhumane working conditions. Hopefully, this program will become a model and will expand to other areas of the country and to other sectors, as expressed by Natali Rodriguez in the Democracy Now!

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