STAND WITH FARMWORKER WOMEN.
WHAT IS A FAIR FOOD SISTER?
JOIN THE NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST THE WOMEN WHO HARVEST OUR FOOD.
The Fair Food Sisters are a brand-new, powerful network of women's rights advocates — whether they are longtime Fair Food allies, new friends of Immokalee farmworkers looking to bring the Fair Food movement to their neighborhood, or members of national women's rights organizations — answering the call for solidarity and support from the Women's Group of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an internationally-recognized human rights organization leading the charge on ending sexual assault and violence in U.S. fields.
For decades, the women who harvest the fruits and vegetables that we put on the table each day have faced sexual violence in the fields. Torn between protecting their dignity and putting food on the table for their own families, women farmworkers endured vulgar and harassing comments, sexual assault, demands of sexual favors from supervisors, and in extreme cases, rape. If a woman spoke up, she found that the next day, she was fired, and her abuser was right back at work.
That's the bad news. The good news is that the women of the small, dusty town of Immokalee, Florida, stood up and said: Enough!
Farmworkers with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) reached beyond the borders of their community to make the national call for support from allies who buy the food harvested in Immokalee -- everyday consumers – and together, they built a movement: the movement for Fair Food.
Through this campaign, the CIW created an unparalleled program to combat human rights abuses, the Fair Food Program. The Program is a unique partnership among farmworkers, 14 of the world's largest retail buyers, and major tomato, strawberry and pepper farmers on the East Coast. Today, under the Fair Food Program, women have the right to report abuse without fear of being fired. Farmworkers have eliminated the most extreme abuses in the fields, from violence against women to modern-day slavery.
stand shoulder to shoulder with farmworker women.
But the CIW's work is far from done. There are tens of thousands of women still laboring far beyond the protections of the Fair Food Program, suffering the same sexual violence and exploitation that women farmworkers faced before in the fields of Florida.
Unfortunately, while more women continue on within this daily struggle, there are major buyers — like Publix, like Kroger, like Wendy’s — that continue to negotiate with the dignity of women and continue making profits from their sweat, even when they have been invited time and time again to join farmworkers in stopping this abuse.
One company in particular is standing in the way of the path to justice. The fast food giant, Wendy’s, even while all of their competitors have become farmworkers' partners against sexual violence, continues to ignore calls to come to the table of dialogue with farmworkers. What’s more, Wendy’s has abandoned the agricultural industry of Florida even as farms have transformed for the better, and has moved its purchases to Mexico, where horrific exploitation continues of both women and men alike.
After Wendy's refused for years to join the country's only proven solution to sexual violence against farmworker women, the CIW and their consumer allies declared a national boycott of Wendy's until the company joined the Fair Food Program.
It is time to build a world in which all women can live and sustain their families with dignity and be respected in the places where they work.
This transformation was brought about not only through the leadership of farmworker women, but also through the actions — both great and small — of millions of consumers. Together, we have the power to make change!