Tampa Bay Fair Food is a grassroots, all-volunteer community organization working as a chapter of the Alliance for Fair Food. The alliance is a network of human rights, religious, student, labor, sustainable food/agriculture, environmental, and grassroots organizations who work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), an internationally-recognized and worker-led human rights organization striving to eliminate sweatshop labor conditions from Florida agriculture in their Campaign for Fair Food.
As allies to the Coalition, we seek to educate others in the Tampa Bay area about the human rights abuses that farmworkers face daily, a spectrum of intolerable conditions ranging up to and including instances of modern-day slavery. We believe that a just food system can only be won by workers leading their own struggle for systemic change, and to this end we accompany the Coalition in vibrant, creative actions to call on corporate holdouts like Wendy’s and Publix to meet with the CIW.
After decades of organizing and steadfast commitment, in 2010 the CIW signed a landmark agreement with Florida tomato growers to implement the Fair Food Program, an historic partnership between farmworkers, tomato growers, and corporate buyers such as Taco Bell, Subway, Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Walmart. The program, which now covers over 90% of the Florida tomato industry, guarantees to workers a wage increase (the “penny per pound”), a human rights-based code of conduct (zero tolerance for modern-day slavery, sexual harassment/assault, wage theft, and physical abuse), and respect and a voice on the job. Through its worker-driven, consumer-powered enforcement mechanisms, the program has transformed an industry and works to eliminate the long-term conditions that create abuse and modern-day slavery in the fields of Florida.
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