People of faith, students, and other consumers can support human rights and fairness for farm workers in Florida and the southeast through the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program. Learn about ways you and your congregation can be involved in this farmworker-driven, consumer-powered initiative which:
- Increases wages with a price premium paid by corporate purchasers of tomatoes from the region
- Protects the human rights of farm workers with a Code of Conduct designed, monitored and enforced by the workers themselves
Currently 14 corporate buyers and members of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, which represent 90% of the state’s tomato growers, are participating in the Fair Food program.
- Fast-Food: Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut), McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle Mexican Grill
- Foodservice: Compass Group, Aramark, Sodexo, Bon Appetit Management Company
- Grocery: Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Ahold USA, Fresh Market
Why is the PC(USA) involved in the Campaign for Fair Food? Because “God sends the church in the power of the Holy Spirit to share with Christ in establishing God’s just, peaceable, and loving rule in the world.”
(The Book of Order, W-7.4001)
What You Can Do
- Pray for fairness for the workers who harvest our food
- Encourage Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program by dropping off a letter to the manager of a nearby Wendy’s
- Join a Fair Food committee in your own city or form one. Email Andrew Kang Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
- Donate to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering which supports the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s work on the Campaign for Fair Food
- Learn about other ways to engage on the Boycott Wendy’s website
General Assembly Policy
The 217th General Assembly passed a resolution in support of an ongoing partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Campaign for Fair Food in 2006. Read the resolution. Prior to this, the 214th GA voted to support the Taco Bell boycott in 2002 and the General Assembly Mission Council celebrated the CIW-Yum! Brands agreement in 2005. The PC(USA) and its predecessor bodies have supported fair wages for farmworkers, the right for farmworkers to bargain collectively and a variety of boycotts over the last century as a nonviolent way to express our Christian values and urge social change. Key theological statements by the General Assembly which undergird the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food’s ongoing work are “God’s Work in Our Hands” (1995) and “Christian Faith and Economic Justice” (1984).
Brief Background on PC(USA) Involvement
Through the Campaign for Fair Food, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins many faith bodies across the country in fostering Presbyterians to work side-by-side with the CIW farmworkers toward a more sustainable and just food system. Contact Andrew Kang Bartlett to get involved and for worship and educational resources related to the Campaign.
The CIW has been the recipient of two Self Development of People grants; the first to help start-up the CIW and the second to expand its work. In 2004, one half of the General Assembly Moderator’s offering was given to the CIW; this was matched by donations from the Peace River Presbytery. This dual offering served as the down-payment for the CIW’s Community Center. Subsequently the Presbyterian Foundation extended the CIW a low-interest loan to renovate the building. The Center is the hub of the Immokalee community providing a food co-op, meeting space for cultural events, a home for the CIW’s low-power FM radio, and offices for the anti-slavery and general campaign work of the CIW.