Where Your Tomatoes Come From

By: Nicole McLaren

When people think about ethical eating they may think about the treatment and consumption of meat but it is important to also consider the people the farmworkers who make your salad possible. The rights of farmworkers in the U.S. have been neglected by the government and their labor exploited by employers.

This week, March 24th-31st, was Farmworkers Awareness Week. This is a time dedicated by community members and student activists across the country to focus on farmworker rights. Organizations like YAYA and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) are leaders in this area.

The CIW are currently working on their fair food campaign to push Wendy’s and other companies to pay their fair share to farmworkers who pick their fruits and vegetables. Over 700 people protested earlier this week in Columbus, headquarter of Wendy’s.

This fight has been going on for about a decade and has seen success with many large corporations. The list of companies that they have a fair food agreement with range from Walmart, Mcdonalds, and Aramark to Whole Foods and Trader Joes. The fair food program relies on the the farmworkers, growers and buyers like Wendy’s.

Another important component is the consumer, you and I. The CIW runs the Campaign for Fair Food to educate consumers on how to use their buying power as leverage to improve the treatment of farmworkers. You can get involved in their campaigns as well. Here’s the link http://www.allianceforfairfood.org/take-action/